COMING AROUND THE CURVE….a story about playing in the road.
Growing up in Rock Hill, S.C., I was keenly aware that several older ladies in our community really should never have received a drivers license. One, Mrs. Anne Claire Bigger, the widow of Dr. I.A. Bigger, a lovely intelligent lady, a former teacher, drove her late 50’s tank of a car all around town. Many of her trips were in assistance to others; delivering goods to shut-ins or taking my Great Aunt Rosa B. to the grocery store, since she didn’t drive. On other occasions she seemed to get a whole load of friends and just cruise down Myrtle Drive for the pleasure of an afternoon drive. Living on the street, near the sharp curve, those of use who were often playing in or near the street, learned quickly to be cautious of our lives when we viewed “Ms. Biggers“, as we refereed to her, coming in either direction. Of particular importance, was our ability to be watchful but also run like the wind. She would often come around the sharp curve and within seconds be hitting the curbing or occasionally up on the sidewalk or lawn.
These times were often rather frightful, since it was clear she hadn’t the slightest inclination to slow down. We often wondered if she was totally oblivious to our presence along her motor route. So, growing up we enjoyed the hours strolling along the street, walking the dog, or playing catch in the middle of the street. But it became so comical, when I once I told this story to my new wife, who responded by singing a phrase of a song her own father had often sung, while she was a young girl. The song went something like, “Get out of the way, Anne Claire Biggers, oh get out of the way here comes Anne Claire Biggers….” It just so happened, the Mrs. Bigger had been one of his grammar school teachers. He had learned at an early age, decades before his future son-in-law, to keep a watchful eye of non other than Mrs. Bigger.
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