survival; there is no doubt that there is some angel who watches over
little children and drunks. In my case the angel had help from technology.
Here is an account told in my fathers own words about Little
Billys close call.
when you were about two years old, I took you for a walk to the little
neighborhood grocery store which was just below the senior high school
on Fourth Street. This was a busy street even in those days because
it followed the route of U.S. Highway 66 through Sayre.
were about to cross the street on our return home, I paused for a
few minutes. I dont remember why I paused, but I will remember
the rest of my life that, acting on some unaccountable impulse, you
suddenly darted out into the street. I can still see you moving directly
into the path of an automobile. At that moment I said to myself, Well,
there goes Billy. It was a sickening feeling. There was nothing
I could do, and it would soon be all over.
almost miraculously, the car stopped just inches before hitting you.
Once I had picked you up, I reassured the flustered motorist, telling
him what a good driver he was to be able to stop so quickly. He replied
that it was a new car, only two weeks old, and that it had four-wheel
the story, Daddy said, If you look at the automobile record,
you will find that four-wheel brakes were introduced for the first
time that year, 1927, and this motorist must have been among the very
first to get that new technology.
Daddy had mixed
feelings about the incident. While he decrees that a parent should
always firmly hold the hand of a young child, he is eternally thankful
for the four-wheel brakes which saved my life.