Toward the end of my senior year in high school, I remember riding shotgun in Ken Michael’s Volkswagen. I can’t remember why we had been driving around in the countryside north of town but I do remember being hit broadside by an old farmer driving a light brown Nova. As luck would have it, he hit us just behind the passenger seat on my side of the car and the impact sent us spinning around into the grass in the median not far from The Morris Bryant Smorgasbord. Ken didn’t get a scratch but I ended up with a bloody nose. The car was totaled.
I didn’t realize that my nose was broken until long after the State Highway Patrolman had dropped me off at the high school to prepare myself for the evening performance of Deviltries a variety show the school put on at the end of every school year. I had to return to the school because I not only had a solo piano performance but a key role playing the theater organ to accompany the senior class boys doing some sort of strange dance dressed in over sized pillow cases that made them look like a Spongebob Squarepants flash mob.
When I arrived, I slipped backstage and found a couch to lie on. I must have fallen asleep because I recall someone shaking me and shining a flashlight in my eyes when I awoke.
“Oh my God, what happened to you?” she asked.
A little dazed, I failed to answer right away so a few minutes later I was escorted to one of the two backstage dressing rooms and was joined shortly thereafter by Dr. Carter who seemed to appear out of no where.
“What happened to you?” he asked holding my head in his hands and moving it from side to side.
“I was in an auto accident,” I said “but I think I’m okay.”
“Indeed, it appears you have a broken nose and two black eyes,” he said as he asked me to follow his finger.
He subsequently got me to stand up and demonstrate that I had the ability to walk around the room without running into things and then grabbed a roll of adhesive tape after he straightened my nose a bit. The show went on.
I don’t recall Dad saying much of anything to me about the accident but he was clearly dismayed that I had had a cigarette hanging from my mouth as a prop when I did my onstage solo work.