Biography & Memoir Books:

Cripple

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Cripple by Jerry A. Range
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Description

Coffee had a way of roaring right through me. So I often was forced to call upon one of the male copy persons (there were girls now) to take me to the men's room. It was simply too far away for me to roll there and back quickly. Many times that would be the chief of the copy person staff, Dennis Kucinich, who would later become the "boy mayor" of Cleveland, and who achieved his 15 minutes of fame in the national spotlight by running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination while he was congressmen from the west side of Cleveland. Kucinich quickly became known as "Dennis the Menace." He called himself an urban populist. He was, and is, a total opportunist, albeit a likable one. July, August, and the first three weeks of September flew by. On the cold drizzly night of Sept. 21, Marty Ranta, a friend from Lakewood, said, "My wife Virginia is coming down to take me home after work. She needed the car for church work. Would you like a ride home?" An offer of a ride was like a small bit of manna from heaven, even if it was from a Jehovah's Witness. .... I immediately said yes. After work, we were waiting in the lobby. Another copy editor, Carl Romansky, stepped out of the elevator and said, "Jerry, do you want a ride?" I hesitated and then said, "No thanks. Marty has offered me one." Ranta said, "Hey, my feelings won't be hurt if you go with Carl." I said to Romansky, "No thanks, Carl. I'll take a rain check." Ranta's wife Virginia pulled up outside in an old Ford Fairlane station wagon. This was in 1968, and the federal government had only begun to require seatbelts on new cars in 1965, and then only two lap belts upfront. In older American cars built before 1965, there were noseatbelts. Ranta helped me get into the front seat. Another editor, an Englishman by the name of Cedric Pulford climbed into the seat behind me. Ranta's wife said, "Marty, maybe you ought to drive because of the rain." He said, "No, you'll do fine." We crossed the Cuyahoga River 100 feet above on the Detroit-Superior Bridge, and veered slightly to the right to take the up-ramp onto the West Shoreway. We entered the freeway in the far left lane, the speed lane, and Virginia eased the car across three lanes to the slower outside lane. Just as we passed the West 49th Street exit, Virginia cried out, "Marty, I can't control the car." The car was "hydroplaning," that is, virtually floating on the cold water on the freeway surface. Marty reached up over his wife and grabbed the steering wheel to try to straighten out the car. It was of no use. We began to spin around and around. The spinning action probably increased our speed to 70 mph. I said to myself, "I don't believe this is happening. I just don't believe this is happening." Then my carefully planned world exploded. The noise was deafening as the car crashed into the metal divider on the freeway, bounced off, and crashed back into the divider, again and again as the car picked up speed going down a long straightaway. When we stopped several hundred yards down the road, the car was in the middle of the freeway pointed eastward. I was lying up across the steering wheel with my head on the dashboard. I had never had a broken bone before in my life. But I knew immediately that there were breaks in my ankles, breaks in at least one knee and possibly the other. I knew that my lifeless left arm was cracked near the shoulder. It was ratheruncomfortable lying across the steering wheel with my face in a heap of glass shards, so I asked to be put back down on the seat. Marty and someone else did that. As they lowered me onto the seat, I felt a stabbing, ripping pain in my right hip and above that in my pelvic area. Never had I hurt this bad, even in the darkest days of polio. Several "Plain Dealer" people who were on their way home stopped and helped to direct traffic so that we would not be hit by an oncoming car. It took the police only a few minutes to arrive. Beyond the
Release date Australia
October 1st, 2004
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
Xlibris Corporation
Pages
236
Dimensions
140x216x14
ISBN-13
9781413451559
Product ID
1908037

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