Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Tragic Accident and the Amazing Kindness of a Community

By Terry (Warren) Orr

This story took place 62 years ago - thanks to family members going through boxes of family belongings and researching the Internet we have been able to piece together our story.

Over sixty years ago my family was involved in a horrible vehicle accident killing two and injuring the other four passengers. This accident took place near a small rural town of Kincaid, Kansas. The nearest hospital was ‘New Allen County Hospital’ (which open earlier that year) in Iola, Kansas.

My Father recently turned 27, Mom was 26, I was 6, my sister 5, brother 3, and a baby brother was just one day shy of being two months old. We were returning home to Wichita from Kansas City after visiting our grandmother and to make final preparations for moving back there, as Dad has accepted a new position. 

Around 1:20pm, that afternoon on November 5, 1952 a 1940 Chevy pick up made a left-hand turn in front of us. Mom and the baby were killed instantly, my sister and father suffered serious injuries, while my brother and I suffered non-life threatening injuries.

On the following day after this accident, the Iola Register newspaper wrote two articles - first article was on page one, “Two Die in Crash at Kincaid” that described what had happen; and the second article found on page four titled "Preventable Tragedies" - which is provided below.

The Iola Register
Thursday, November 6, 1952
Page 4

Preventable Tragedies

The report in today's paper of the Kincaid accident, which cost two lives, indicated that the whole cause was poor eyesight on the part of one of the drivers.

If that is the case - how much longer is Kansas going to persist in a drivers' license law, which permits indefinite, automatic renewal without even the most cursory yearly physical examination?

It would cost quite a bit of money. But how much is a life worth - if it happens to be a member of your own family?

Curiously enough, there always seems to be considerable sympathy for any elderly man who involves himself in a wreck through his infirmities, even when that wreck mains or kills others.

"After all," they say, "the old man has to get around. He has to make a living, doesn't he?"

There are two answers to that.

The first is an unequivocal no. He doesn't have to get around and he doesn't have to make a living if his physical handicaps are so great that he can't do so without endangering the lives of others.  He can stay home and the state will take care of him. Or he can do something that doesn't require driving a car or truck.

The second is that an examination might turn a dangerous driver into a safe one by the simple expedient of requiring him to buy a pair of eyeglasses.

It is amazing the number of people who slide from good vision into bad so slowly that they don't realize the seriousness of the impairment that has taken place. This is especially true of near-sighed people who find their eyes good enough for everything they do with their hands but who have become so accustomed to a fuzzy distance vision that they jus think nothing about it.

Until they pull across the road in front of an approaching automobile they didn't see!

I suggest the legislature give this matter some mighty serious attention. A given number of strictly preventable tragedies will continue each month until it does.

While the author was not identified, this article is spot on and is as true today as it was 62 years ago.

On December 24, 1952, the Iola Register on page 1, published a Christmas card they received from our Grandmother, which read in part:

"We shall never forget the unusual kindness shown us following the death of our daughter-in-law and grandson, Mrs. W.C. Orr and infant, in an automobile accident near Kincaid," writes Mrs. Hodges, "nor the splendid treatment given her husband and their three children at the Allen County Hospital. May God Bless your wonderful town."

On January 1, 1953, The Register published an additional article related to our journey, “The Holloways Entertain at a Steak Dinner” from page one, that read:

A New Years Eve party and steak dinner was given last night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Milt Holloway in Gas City for the tenants of their apartment house at 421 South Walnut in Iola.  Following the dinner David Holloway entertained the group with several vocal selections with Ruth Holloway at the piano.

Those present were Mrs. Pat Smith and her daughter Jeannie, Mrs. Eric Spicer, Miss Ida Perkins, Miss Ruby McCloud, Herschel Perry, Mrs. Mary Parkins and her sons Dickie and Allen all of Iola. Mr. and Mrs. Duane Canady and Sherry of Lawrence, Miss Margaret Tenny, and the three Orr children, Dwight, Lynn and Warren of LaCygne, who have been guest in the Holloway home for the past several days, and Mr. and Mrs. Holloway and their children Milton Jr., Elta Mae, Ruth, David and Steven.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Milton Holloway and family taking us in and making that evening very special.

Thank you Doctor Eugene Myers for taking such wonderful care of us.

Thank you each and every one of those exceptional individuals, families and communities for all that you did, offered to do and your love and support for our family.

With any event - there are always multiple perspectives, different memories, and certainly different facts and information that is processed uniquely to each person. This is my account of these events based upon: newspaper articles; passed along to me by my Father, Grandmothers, Aunt, and inputs from several immediate and extended family members.

We remain grateful, thankful, blessed and strengthen by the support, understanding, love and guidance given by so many.  To those generous people of Kansas – who provided so much during our recovery – words alone – simply can not expresses our thanks. For our Father – bless his soul, who gave us his best to keep us together and provide a solid foundation to grow upon. To Granny Greenwell who never shied away from anyone or anything to support and teaching us everything and more importantly doing the right thing and respecting others. To June who entered our lives at a critical juncture was truly a gift from above.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Live your journey...

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said " it's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.

Author ~ unknown

Monday, June 1, 2015

Understanding U.S. Newspapers and Their Readers

By Terry Orr
(Sharing another email)

  1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
  2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
  3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
  4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times.
  5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could find the time and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.
  6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it.
  7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
  8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
  9. The Chicago Tribune is read by people that are in prison and used to run the state & would like to do so again, as would their constituents who are currently free on bail.
  10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.
  11. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are gay, handicapped, minority, feminist, atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.
  12. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
  13. The Seattle Times is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.