My brief dance with disaster
It’s something of a minor miracle that I am even typing my column this week. Last week Wednesday, while attempting to drive down to Marshfield and cheer on some local boys I covered while they were Colby Hornets, my SUV hit a patch of black ice.
I swerved into the coming lane, and normally would have simply taken a deep breath and tried to get control of the wheel. On this particular night, that was not an option, as I had a semi bearing down on me. With just seconds to react, I jerked the wheel violently, and lurched into the other lane, narrowly avoiding getting splattered like the proverbial bug on a windshield.
From there, I crashed headlong into the nearby snow bank, and it was a good thing it was there, as I might have tumbled into the ditch and taken a few trees with me, and would probably have flipped my vehicle.
As it was, the snow bank acted as a cushion, and even though one end of my SUV was on the snow bank, and the other touching the shoulder of the road, I was alive.
So was my vehicle. There were two flat tires as a result of my little accident, but it could have been far worse, and the best part is I was just blocks away from D & A Auto in Unity.
They were able to pick me up, and so was my editor Kevin. While I waited for the tow truck, I was greeted by that almost uniquely Wisconsin trait of concern.
People in this state are generous, and we do our best to help each other out. Almost immediately after I crashed my SUV other vehicles were pulling alongside me to see if I was OK.
A nice woman visiting family in Stetsonville, who now lives in Kentucky, let me sit in her car while I warmed up after the temperature began to quickly drop.
At the time I had no idea the extent of my vehicle’s damages. I thought it could be anything - from a few hundred, to maybe needing an entire new car.
I took to Facebook to vent my frustrations, and was greeted by dozens of well-wishers. Even though I was worried, reading the outpouring of concern truly touched me.
Sometimes with this job you forget the impact you make on a community. You see, with social media and live streamers, I sometimes wonder if people even read my articles.
To have people reach out and tell me how important I am to the com- munity, and how much they enjoy the stories meant the world to me. I got another nice dose of appreciation when I spoke to two wonderful ladies from California who shared their admiration for my writing.
It’s moments like that which make me glad I chose to be a journalist. The job can be long, and tiring, but it matters. And for all who reached out to me after my accident, I say thank you - it means the world to me.
M USINGS AND G RUMBLINGS
ROSS PATTERMANN REPORTER