Wreck at the Railroad Crossing
We lived in a rural area of small farms and large natural woodlands. Most families fished and hunted to provide additional food to the table. The hunting and fishing was much more of an honor system than administered by actual laws. We very seldom saw game wardens or state troopers. The law enforcement agencies were focused on people who sold what they hunted, used extremely illegal means, or in the case of deer, hunted at night. The majority of people who hunted and fished followed rules of the land passed down by their families etc. You didn’t over hunt or over fish. Each species of wildlife had times of the year when they were protected by unwritten rules. There were times when rules of the land and unwritten rules didn’t comply with the official state laws.
This memory starts with a ride to my uncles home in Norwood. On the back floor board of the car was a canvas tarp with a deer on top of it. The deer had been dressed out, but still had the head, hide, etc attached. The deer was not visible unless you were close enough to the car to look in on the back seat and floor.
We were on a paved country road with little or no traffic. Ahead was a hill with a railroad crossing at the bottom. There was a considerable amount of activity at the railroad crossing as it came into our view. The road was not completely blocked, but to get through you had to weave between a tipped over dump truck and the rear of a railroad car. In the middle of them stood a State Trooper watching for traffic. The dump truck lost his brakes and couldn’t stop before he hit the train. There was gravel all over the place. My dad’s response was “Oh no, how in hell are we going to get by this? Son, if that trooper sees that deer I’m going to jail. If we try to turn around down there they’ll know we’re up to something. Don’t you say a word to anyone.” As he slowly drove through he asked the trooper “Any body get hurt?” The trooper replied “No, the truck just couldn’t stop and when he bounced off the train he tipped over”. Dad gave him a wave and off we drove.
This is one of those once in a lifetime adventures that will never be forgotten…..and dad didn’t go to jail.