Old and Helpless

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yogi
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Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 09 Sep 2019, 18:51

This past weekend my wife of many years and I traveled 325 miles to Dubuque, Iowa. I've been through that city many times during the course of our marriage. Her grandparents, and eventually her parents, lived in small town rural Iowa for many years and we passed through Dubuque many times to visit. A few years ago the last of her relatives passed on and I thought I'd never have to cross the Mississippi again.

As luck would have it, my wife's family is tied spiritually to Iowa so that it just made sense to celebrate a retirement there even though none of them live there anymore. There is an old German Restaurant called Breitbach's in Balltown, IA. Balltown has a permanent population of less than 100 people so that it's not too difficult to imagine how country and how remote this place is. It's well worth the trip, if you could find the place. Balltown doesn't show up on most GPS's.

Driving time to Dubuque is over 5 hours which is why we decided to camp out at the Port of Dubuque's Grand Harbor Resort. It's actually a water park with hotel accommodations attached, or so it seemed. My dear wife took one of our own granddaughters there many years ago and went slipping and sliding down a three story chute into the main pool. They had a grand time and apparently those fond memories encouraged her to book us there for two nights. Breitbachs is just a short 30 minute drive up the river path mainly used by deer, snakes, and an occasional hungry tourist. So, Saturday night was spent in a Grand hotel overlooking the barge traffic on the Mississippi at Port of Dubuque.

The retirement party was scheduled for 12:30PM Sunday. Wife and I did some shopping at the local WalMart to buy some warm clothes for an unexpectedly cold climate just 300 miles to the north of home. Then we asked Google for directions to Breitbachs and headed north. Only a few miles up the river path were huge signs warning people to take the detour to the left because the road ahead was closed for repairs. Apparently there was an alternate way to the secluded town of Balltown, so we followed the detour signs in spite of Google protesting vehemently. It kept telling us to go back. Make a U-Turn. Don't do what you are doing. Well, after a few miles of heading into the opposite direction, we decided to turn back and see what we could see.

There was an intersection with a stop light and one of those left-turn arrows that flashes amber to warn you that it's OK to turn, but you must yield to oncoming traffic. The traffic was heavy and we were already confused and under pressure due to the unexpected detour, but the arrow was flashing amber, meaning I could go when there was an opening. So I did. Immediately my wife of many year started screaming that we are going to be hit. She is on the passenger side and would of course absorb the full impact so that I understand why she panicked. But it was an unexpected interruption in what should have been a quick maneuver and I hesitated for a split second to evaluate the situation. Yep, there was a car speeding toward us. So I floored it and headed into the wrong lane of that cross traffic but managed to avoid getting killed. I could not avoid hitting the curb of the center median, and the front tire went flat from the impact.

Fortunately, a few hundred feet down the street was a Perkins Restaurant. We made it to the rear of the store and I got out to evaluate the damage. The tire was indeed flat. At that moment I felt old and helpless as I never have before. Here we are in the middle of nowhere Iowa, on a Sunday afternoon, totally immobile. Stranded. SOL. It made me nervous to feel like that because it really was not that disastrous. We just needed a new tire, after escaping sure death just a couple minutes prior. And, it decided to rain while I was pondering what to do next. And it was cold. And ... wife was already on the cell phone to let the other party animals know of our misfortune. So, taking a deep breadth I rambled over to the Perkins Restaurant which was extremely busy because it was Sunday after all. All the families in Dubuque descend upon Perkins after church. It's just part of the ritual. Wife came along after nobody was answering their cell phones. So, when the manager come over to take our names for seating, we explained our dilemma to him.

As luck would have it, he said he knew of a towing service he would be glad to call. We agreed and thanked him profusely. He called and came back to tell us they would be over to take our car to the flat tire graveyard in about 15 minutes. Again, we thanked him for his help, but somehow could not thank him enough. The tow truck arrived about the same time as the family rescue squad. While wife was talking things over with her brother I was standing in the rain watching the guy change my tire. He asked about a spare, which I only could speculate that I had in the trunk. I never in all the ten years I owned the car looked at or for the spare. But there it was. One of those 50/50/50 donut tires - inflate to 50 psi, and drive 50 miles at 50 mph. That is the designed life expectancy of that kind of tire. Probably the most amazing part of this adventure is that the knight in shining armor, who happened to have a tow truck, only charged $58 to save our day. Remember now, it was Sunday afternoon, and they young man with the tow truck has his girlfriend riding shotgun; obviously on the way to a party of his own. I'm from out of town and desperate, but this guy was fair in every respect. Astonishing in this day and age.

We were less than ten miles from the hotel, but a LOT further from the party site. So wife's brother volunteered to drive us to the party so that we could leave the car parked at Perkins. He did. And we drove back to the hotel after the party. And the next morning it was a short 3 mile drive to the tire repair store. They could not repair it, of course. I had to buy a new one. Fortunately the wheel was still in good shape and did not need replacement. So ... I am home now, safe and sound but feeling a little more fragile than I used to.

Jen
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Jen » 10 Sep 2019, 03:41

I know the feeling, especially when one's car breaks down and you have no way to get help unless someone comes by. About two months ago, I was on my way to my favorite craft store when a belt under my car's hood broke. This made my car come to an eventual halt, and stop working altogether. Luckily, I was able to park it in a left turn lane area before it gave out completely. It was about 8:00 in the evening, dusk was approaching, and I had left my cell phone at home (duh!) At least I had the presence of mind to engage the emergency flashers. A kind young woman in a large black SUV pulled up in back of my car, got out, and asked if I needed any help. I told her I needed to call my husband but I didn't have my phone and didn't have his number memorized. About that time, a young man appeared and suggested my car should be pushed into the nearby neighborhood so it wouldn't block people trying to get into their neighborhood. So the two of them pushed my car while I steered it and we got it parked in a safe parking spot. Ah, but what to do now? I had made up my mind to walk the 2 miles home to get the assistance of my husband, but the young woman wasn't going to let me do it. She insisted on driving me home. And when I tried to pay her money for her acts of kindness, she wouldn't accept it. I wish I knew the names of those two good Samaritans. I'd find some way to reward them. Anyway, once I was home, hubby and I took off in his truck and parked it very close to my car. He then used his cell phone to try to call for towing service thru our automobile insurance. Instead of getting a human being, we had to jump thru lots of hoops and menus just to get to the part where we could order a tow truck. We never got to speak to a live insurance agent ever. It was 10:30 by the time my car was placed in the small, safe parking lot of our mechanic's shop. My brain felt fried and full of cotton. My hubby was grumpy and tired. When it was time for bed, I got in, closed my eyes and was out like a light. Stress can do that to you. :sleep:

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 10 Sep 2019, 08:11

My favorite line is "life is a series of random events to which we react." I made that up, more or less, after going through more than a few of those random events. Typically I go through the adventure of living with the attitude that I must be prepared for anything to happen. I can plan things out and avoid a lot of the disasters, but certain events just cannot be anticipated. My wife's unexpected scream, for example.

One of the take-aways from my experience is that people are not totally doomed to destroy themselves. There are folks in this world who are kind, considerate, helpful, and willing to perform random acts of kindness. In my case it took a death defying event to meet one of those.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 10 Sep 2019, 11:16

For some reason I recall being in that town.
Way back when I was hauling sand and gravel for either Siemers or what was that other company, I'll remember it after I send this, hi hi.
I could be wrong, but I delivered an entire truckload, and I'm talking about tractor-trailer size not little dump trucks, of gravel to a Newspaper who was redoing their parking lot.
Seems the restaurant I ate at up there was called Coomey's Corner, short walk from the newspaper. Hmm, maybe it was Cooney's Corner. I was there for several hours because they could only do like 1/3 of the parking lot, get it graded and rolled, then had the cars moved over to the finished part while they did the middle section. Each section I had to make a dump and in that big of a truck, there is simply no place to turn around anywhere, hi hi.
I was no where near dressed to go anyplace else, but saw the signs about the oldest restaurant you named.

Sorry to hear you damaged your car, and glad you avoided the more serious accident.
You really lucked out getting back on the road for so cheap, and on a Sunday yet.

When I lived back home, a group of us drove around nearly every night, hitting all the stops, like Steak n Shake, Parkmoor, Schneithorsts when they had curb service, then down to Ted Drews, more Steak n Shakes, and often as far north as Chain of Rocks Amusement Park. We put on at least 100 miles every night. After we all turned 18, we would then venture across the river to the Illinois side. One of the places we always got into the most trouble at was down at Gaslight Square during its heyday. After I as married, we would drive over to Nashville, Illinois quite often. Nashville was like turning back the clock 30 years. They still had big bands playing at really large nightclubs every Friday night. Plus lots of old shops that hadn't changed in 30 years either. Just like it was when my dad was in his early 20's, so we even brought him with us a couple of times. He hunted around for folks he used to know when he played music over there himself. Never found anyone he knew though. He still enjoyed going just the same. Even showed me a couple of places and told me stores about what went on their, hi hi.

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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 10 Sep 2019, 14:25

From what I could determine, the town of Balltown, Iowa, was Breitbach's Country Dining. I didn't see much else anywhere around the place. We must have traveled ten miles down a two lane patched up road to get to the restaurant. A couple miles before we reached it, there was a community of maybe half a dozen houses. I am guessing that's where the entire population of that town lived. There was nothing like a newspaper publisher anywhere near the town. Then again, it was kind of rainy and foggy. Something could have been off in the distance.

My cousin married a fellow who was like yourself in many ways in that he owned and operated several different kinds of businesses. One of those businesses was a towing service. He had a contract with some police agency and was on call 24/7. I don't think our hero was under contract with anybody, but he definitely was connected to the manager of the Perkins Restaurant in some way. Since the tow truck arrived with a young lady as a passenger, I'm guessing the two of them were out somewhere, or just about to go out. Back in the Chicago area this would have been a perfect setup for some towing company to bleed me dry. I can't explain why he didn't, other than the strong possibility that there actually are some decent people left in this world.

On the way back home we decided to not bypass Hannibal, Missouri. Since this was the final leg of our three day adventure, my wife and I decided to treat ourselves to an ice cream sundae. Google told us about Becky's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor & Emporium in the middle of downtown Hannibal. I've been to some retro ice cream parlors before, but this place was older than any of them. Becky's must have been circa 1910, or thereabouts. It was a marvelous shop from out of the history books and the gal behind the counter (Becky?) hand crafted our sundaes right before our very eyes. Of course I had to have huckleberry ice cream being in Hannibal and all. LOL I've read about that town and Sam Clemens is one of my favored authors. It was an interesting experience walking the same streets ol' Sam must have strolled himself. We didn't do much else because we were anxious to get home, but I definitely would like to spend an afternoon up there exploring the rest of the town. It's one amazing place.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 11 Sep 2019, 11:53

You made me look it up didn't ya!
Hunted up my old log books. That other name I couldn't remember of who I drove sand and gravel for was Phillips Sand and Gravel
However, I was driving for Siemers Sand and Gravel, and YES I was in Balltown.
My delivery was to Coomey Publishing on Robert Taylor Lane, which I got to off Balltown Road.

I looked up the place on Google Maps, to make sure, but it wasn't much help.
I saw a large house and the Catholic Church which I do not remember at all, and my delivery must have been where the Balltown Lions Pavilion is now located, but that street name is Saint Francis Street off Horseshoe Road.
Strange thing though. When I was there, if I walked from Coomey's toward the main road, there were three old buildings together, the end building closest to me was a small diner. I did get the name wrong, the place I delivered to was Coomey's and I don't remember the name of the diner at all. Seems like the store next to the diner was a shoe store, but that was a lot of years ago my friend.
No evidence that these buildings ever existed appeared on the map though.

I did a little more searching and by gosh I was in Balltown, but it happens to be in Kentucky, not Iowa, hi hi.
I found the streets that lined up with my log book. Damn I'm getting forgetful in my old age, hi hi.
Makes more sense though since Siemers was down on I-55 just past Pevely, MO and most of our runs were to the south.

Sorry for the mistake!

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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 11 Sep 2019, 16:23

:lmao2:
Who would have thunk that there is more than one Balltown in the United States?
I had the feeling we were talking about two different places, but couldn't prove it.
Sorry to put you through the trouble of looking things up. But, I know you enjoyed it. :grin:

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 12 Sep 2019, 10:59

I have also been to Bucksnort, hi hi...

I knew something was not quite right when I opened Google Maps and switched to satellite view.
No way were old stores where I remembered them.
There were a lot of residences in your Balltown, and the one I delivered to was like a small shopping or commercial area. Not much different than our smaller strip malls but really really old.

I made more runs for Phillips than I did Siemers, mainly because all of Siemers runs were long haul, often overnight.
Phillips had mostly the dump trucks we are used to seeing, only super large. While almost all of Siemers trucks were like tractor trailers with either piston lifts, or underneath drop chutes. Most of Siemers runs were to concrete mixing facilities, so the bottom chutes worked well to dump the load they ran up to overhead storage with conveyors. But loads like I took to Balltown were done in the normal hydraulic lift long dump trailers. You may have seen these as coal delivery trucks when younger and coal was used heavily in commercial and industrial heating.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 12 Sep 2019, 13:32

The crazy part about Balltown, Iowa, is that Breitbach's is it's only business in the town. That place has got to be close to 100 years old but is well kept. Who in all of god's creation is patronizing that place enough to keep them in business so long? They are located in the middle of nowhere, literally. The closest population center is a dozen miles or more away. I can see going there once in a blue moon, but it takes more than that to keep a business that size operational.

My memories of the coal delivery trucks are vague at best. My mind's eye is seeing a red dump truck filled with coal and tipping its load onto a chute that goes into our coal bin room. I believe there was a small trap door in the back of the hopper from which the coal poured. Somebody with a shovel was moving the coal down the chute. This all happened in the alley of a city street. That's it for dump truck memories. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 13 Sep 2019, 11:29

Look how far out most of the Builtmore Clubs were situated from cities.
Yet they were always packed solid. And their rental halls also booked every weekend.
If I recall from the map I looked at Debuqie (sp) Iowa is not that far away from Balltown.
Lots of folks have special occasions throughout the year and will make the trek for a special evening out.

I found a picture of the style hopper truck I drove, but it wouldn't let me link to just the image, so here it is on Google Images if this works like it is supposed to, hi hi. It's the one in the black box on the right of the screen.
https://www.google.com/search?biw=1152& ... Xive80BSTM:

And here is what one of the tractor/trailer style dump trucks looks like raised. This one worked OK.
https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=ht ... mrc&uact=8

I'll check to see if they work after I send this, hi hi.

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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 13 Sep 2019, 13:35

Google changed the way it stores images. They can't be hot linked or downloaded easily anymore. I guess it has something to do with copyrights, but since I've owned an Android computer (phone?) I've become more aware of how convoluted the Google system really is. Anyway, I think I got the image of what type truck you are talking about. It's pretty much just a big dump truck. LOL

Dubuque is a hop, skip, and a jump away from Balltown, and those Iowa folks think nothing of driving twenty-five miles for a cup of coffee. We came in from out of state as did the entire party we ate with, and I still don't know how they found the place. All I know is their parents (my inlaws) lived about 60 miles west of Dubuque and that must have something to do with them knowing about it. It's a terrific traditional German cuisine, and the owner told us the people who come there aren't all that into ethnic foods. So they only do it at the Sunday buffet and Thursday nights. It would be interesting to know why the original building was put in the midst of a cow pasture. I should have asked the owner when i had a chance.
Last edited by yogi on 14 Sep 2019, 14:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 14 Sep 2019, 11:17

We have an old restaurant here, it has burned twice, but not all the way down.
The last time they rebuilt, keeping all the old logs in place, they were required to build a steel framework, like you see when they build new tall buildings these days.
It was costly to have the steel structure built inside of an existing building, and have it blend in with the old surroundings.
But they managed to do it. Using some of the old rafter logs split and hollowed to fit around the new ironwork.
When you go inside, it looks basically the same as it always has, except for the three new posts down the center of the dining area.
But if you look up at the ceiling, it is all iron rafter work up there now, painted black to help hide it.
Plus all the fire sprinklers, and metal ductwork that is modern compared to what used to be up there.
And of course they really raised the prices when they reopened again, still packed though, hi hi.
They basically have no competition to speak of within about 20 miles.

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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 14 Sep 2019, 14:57

Being a city boy for seven decades allows me to be amazed at things country folks take for granted. This German Restaurant in the middle of farmland is typical. We went to a winery in Missouri a few months ago and were shocked at all the farmland that was flooded at the time. They were more inconvenienced than isolated, but we did get an exceptional amount of rain this summer and spring. The thing that impressed me most on the way to the winery is the distance apart from one farmhouse to another. A sinkhole could open up and swallow an entire family and nobody would notice for months that something was missing. Or, so it seems.

It took nearly an hour to get to the winery and most of that time was on country roads. The rambling hills of Missouri are quite a contrast to the flat earth of Illinois. It's very beautiful down here if not isolated. I found myself wondering how people could live without eye contact of their neighbors each and every moment of the day. Finally there was a town. One with a stop light none the less. The roads through town and out to the vineyard were like the unpaved back alleys of the city I grew up in. And then, suddenly, over the hill appeared a massive array of buildings in which wine was produced and sold. Tall buildings. Vats of wine that could be called mini-skyscrapers. It wasn't crowded, but there were dozens of people roaming around the grounds. it was so out of context from it's surroundings that I stood in awe for a few moments. This was a hustling and bustling community producing barrels of wine that is sold all over the United States right before my eyes. But it too was in the middle of nowhere.

It all made sense, of course, because that's where the grapes were. So, the making of wine should be as close to the source as possible. That doesn't explain the existence of the golf course a few miles down the road. The country club is as elegant as anything within the metro Chicago area, but located among the cow pastures of Missouri. I guess country folks need to golf too, but like the German restaurant it's expensive. I don't understand how they could be getting enough golfers into the club to support its existence.

It's all very amazing.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 15 Sep 2019, 12:04

I was raised in Des Peres, MO.
When I was a young lad, directly across the street from us were two large farms and down the street a block a hog farmer.
When I started driving, between Des Peres and Manchester to the west, there was nothing but farms.
Right before you got to Manchester, there was a company who built fire trucks on the right.
Then at Hwy 141 is where the businesses started. Manchester, Ballwin, and Ellisville were all huddled together, each with shopping along Manchester Road, and residential behind them. After Ellisville there was nothing again until you got as far out as Pond, which was only a few small buildings, mostly mechanics for farm implements.

Within less that five years, nearly every farm was gone and one subdivision after the other sprung up.
Gravel roads became tar and gravel for a few years, then blacktopped. But there were still plenty of gravel roads.
The Hillsboro to House Springs road was gravel up until I was in my twenties.
Even popular roads like the former Denny Road, which became Geyer Road was still tar and gravel, but a more improved tar and gravel than earlier tar and gravel roads that were sticky in the summer. Probably because they switched from tar to an emulsion product which later became the base liquid for blacktop.

I used to make deliveries to places so far out in the county they didn't even have addresses.
I remember one place in particular who we delivered to on a fairly regular basis.
He used to give us the directions to his place using landmarks, but we were there so often, we had them pinpointed on our map. I told him, the only thing you need to tell is about where you are is say 5 mph bump gate and we know where you are. He had an automatic gate that if you bumped into it at exactly 5 mph it would open and stay open for you to get through with a truck or a car pulling a trailer.
Another place we delivered, all they had to tell us was they had the double wooded cattle catchers.
Almost all farms had cattle catchers so they didn't have to open and close gates. Those that were not made of steel bars, had wooden slats in place of a gate. But this guy had an elaborate cattle catcher that was in its own kinda way unique and beautiful at the same time. It almost looked like a bridge the way it was designed.
Oh speaking of which, we had a cattle catcher gate at another stop we went to only about once a year.
Although I'm mechanically inclined, I never did figure out how this thing worked.
Regardless of whether you were coming in or going out, the gate would lay down forming a cattle catcher as you crossed over it, then it would raise back up and become a gate again.
The only times I was out there was on holidays when we were too busy to stop moving even for a second.
Else I would have stopped and studied this thing more closely.
NO it was not hinged at the bottom, so was not simply laying down one way or the other.
It remained centered in the fence row. As you came up to the gate, the bottom would move away from you and the top down toward you until it was flat over the trough under it, going in. Going out it still folded down the same way but with the bottom coming toward you and the top moving away from you.
It was not electric for sure. One of the drivers who delivered there said he thinks it runs on water pressure somehow, but didn't see any pipe or pistons around it. Besides, if it was water, it would freeze, so probably not water.
Now my dad, whom all the drivers called The Trail Boss, hi hi, said it simply worked on springs, and the weight of the truck or car going in or out is what is causing it to lower, and the springs pull it back up again. Probably has a piston type closer inside the two metal pipes on each side the fence is connected to, to keep it from slamming up right away.
We never did find out for sure how it works.

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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 15 Sep 2019, 15:23

Much of the "Good Old Days" is preserved here in Missouri. Up north there is some, but it all got compressed and much of it eliminated to make room for 13 million people living in a six county area around the lake. My first visit to St Charles, Missouri, the year we moved here was like going through a time warp back to the early 1900's. There is a section of that town that seems to be untouched by modernization. Since that first year I've found a few places like it. My most recent was the short trek through Hannibal. Yeah, it's touristy, but it's not fake. The old buildings and architecture is actually old. Up in Ellsberry I had lunch in a 1950's drug store soda fountain kind of place when we visited that town. It's truly amazing how much of the past is preserved around here.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 16 Sep 2019, 10:56

Yeppers. Things I grew up with were long gone by the time I was in my twenties. But some of them dated way back to the late 1700s.
I always loved going to Hannibal!

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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 16 Sep 2019, 19:37

Speaking of old dogs and new tricks ...

Today I found another unexpected benefit of owning a clever phone. My lucky stars are playing tricks on me because once again I found myself in a death defying situation and escaped without a scratch. I can't say the same for my Saturn automobile, however. A young kid who could not have had his driver's license for more than a few months crashed into my car as I was making a turn onto a busy street. There are some dents but the damage to my car is minimal - I'm guessing under $2000 to repair it. His Toyota hybrid will probably cost more to repair, but not much more. We both walked away unscathed and drove our vehicles home.

The usual call to O'Fallon's finest was made and we exchanged identities and insurance information while waiting for the coppers to arrive. Of course paper and pencils are rare to non-existent when you need them the most, but both of us did have smartphones. So, we photographed each others license and insurance information, and I took several pictures of the damaged vehicles too. His dad arrived on the scene and was understanding about it all. It would be difficult to say who was at fault, even though technically he hit me. In any event there were no tickets issued by the police. I supposed it helped that our cars were moved off the highway and scene of the crash by the time the black-and-whites arrived.

A call to the insurance company connected me with the claims people. That's when all those pictures came in handy. I had all the information downloaded by then and just read it off to them from my computer monitor. The whole thing is documented in ways that were not possible not so many years ago. I am wondering now if the Fates of auto crashes have been satisfied. I narrowly escaped their first attempt at ruining my life, and got away from this one a little shaken but totally undamaged. Wish I could say the same for the car.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 17 Sep 2019, 13:03

Yeppers, having a phone with a camera can be beneficial. Even my little flip fone can take pictures, and in this case, I can get them off the phone without subscribing to some program to do so.

Glad you were not hurt and the car is repairable. Wish I could say the same about my original Blazer. One small bump in the wrong place and it was totaled.

I had an accident back in the '80s that turned out for the better.
I was hit in the drivers side front fender by a car I never saw at all until after we hit.
I watched and waited for the only car coming my way to pass the street I was pulling out from, making a right.
Then wham, where did that car come from. I honestly had no idea.
I learned later from my insurance company that they were able to collect from that persons insurance company, so the repairs were covered. They told me the car that hit me had pulled onto the street off of private property.
Since I was on a street and making a right onto another street, I had the right-of-way over someone entering a street from private property.
I thought long and hard about this, because I was hit one other time in a work truck by someone pulling out of a private driveway. I saw them in time to swing over to the inside lane, but they kept coming and clipped the back of our truck.
At the time I figured their insurance company would pay right away, because not only did I have the right-of-way, but I also changed lanes to avoid an accident as they pulled out to go in the same direction of travel I was traveling in.
Dig this, they claimed they pulled out into the right lane and I hit them because I changed lanes from the inside lane to the outside lane before I was past them.
It was several months before the insurance company figured out she was lying about what happened. I think they found a witness somehow although they didn't tell me that.
One of the biggest fights my brother had with an insurance company had to do with them showing he had a claim.
He was parked in gas station getting gas, and some car came flying in and slid on the wet blacktop and knocked his car into the pipe on the island, so he had dents on both sides of his car.
They were guilty, admitted their guilt, so it meant their insurance had to pay for the damages to his car and the property damage at the gas station.
So, how did this become a claim on my brothers insurance?
Turns out they both had the same insurance company, and according to company policy, they pay for the repairs without blame to one or the other party. But it still should not have shown up as a claim on himself.
He fought it until they removed the claim charge on his account, and it also brought his insurance rate back down too.

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yogi
Posts: 5658
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi » 17 Sep 2019, 15:27

The Saturn has a value just over $2000 according to the County Treasurer who collects personal property tax. It seems I would be at fault in this accident and my insurance will be footing the bills. I can only hope that the damage doesn't exceed the value of my car. I would think not, but then I've not priced car parts lately.

Missouri is a whole new ballgame for me and I don't know how they handle things down here. I would not see an increase in my premiums up north for making just a single claim. Part of that was due to all my property insurance being with the same company. And, you are correct. It's SOP to not even question who is at fault if both parties are insured by the same company. It's also surprising how much you can negotiate if you know enough to argue. Claim adjusters are a pretty tough crew, but they are also reasonable. Most people avoid them because it is complicated.

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Kellemora
Posts: 3208
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora » 18 Sep 2019, 11:08

If your insurance company totals your car, you can usually buy it back from them as scrap for about 1/3 of what they paid you for it.
In many cases, if you like a car and get it repaired cheaply enough on your own, it's a better deal since you know everything about the car.

I was charged with hitting someone from the rear although I didn't, they hit someone and bounced backwards into my stopped car. But the way MO law is, front of your car, back of theirs, YOUR FAULT.
I had witnesses, but they sided with someone in one of the cars up front.
It was obvious to anyone who looked at my car, that I did not hit the back of a truck and push them into a chain reaction that totaled the truck and the car in front of it, while only sustained minor damage on the TOP of my hood, and no other damage.
I was fined 85 dollars, and let the insurance company battle out the rest. They must have won because it never appeared on my record that I had a claim for that accident.
The only repairs needed to my car was a new hood, which I got for like around 45 bucks. The hoods framework was not bent so the skin could have been fixed, but that would cost more than a junk yard hood of the same color as my car.

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