…but not for Cuppa — apparently!!!
I have racked my brain and can only think of one more car accident/incident to conclude this rivetting series. As in my recent post, Spared, this was to be another excruciatingly near miss, for Cuppa and I were almost snatched away just as we were on the cusp of our beginning as a couple.
The miss of this particular narrative took place in June or July 1967. I had just met Cuppa a few weeks prior to the incident that I am about to describe. When I say we had just met, that’s not completely accurate, for I had known her or of her for some time before that summer because we went to the same church. It was a big church, however, so our respective friendship circles had only partially overlapped. So, in a sense it was a new meeting.
Somehow, a few weeks earlier, we ended up sitting beside each other at a wild young people’s church party social, and we talked for probably the first time. Amongst other things, I’m sure, it came to light that Cuppa would be at the Sunday School picnic the next day. I decided to attend. There weren’t many teenagers present, so Cuppa and AC spent some time walking and talking together. We even held hands a bit. Shocking, I know.
Several weeks later we ended up in the back seat of a car. Stop it! It’s not what you think! This car was travelling apace, and there were two or three other kids in the vehicle with us. We were on our way to an unofficial youth retreat at Balm Beach on Georgian Bay, north of Toronto. The boys would bunk in one cottage, the girls in another, and the chaperons in a third.
We had travelled much of the way to our retreat after the Friday evening young peoples service when our vehicle lost traction and began to skid sideways on wet pavement as we navigated a curve in the road at some speed. The ditch on the other side of the road along with a handy dandy pole planted right beside it was looming very large indeed. I figured we were done for and remember wondering what heaven would be like. Oddly enough, just as in the other near miss, I was calm.
Somewhat miraculously, our driver, Ron, remembered to “turn in the direction of the skid,” whereupon the car did a 180 before coming to a halt in the lane in which we had originally been travelling. Except we were just facing in the opposite direction. Somehow, my arm had fallen across Cuppa’s shoulders during the crisis, and it just kindalikeyouknowhowitis stayed up there for the quite a little while: quite an audacious move back in the day — almost akin to getting engaged (he said, with a only wee titch of exaggeration).
That weekend was the start of a long togetherness: a togetherness that could have been over almost before it had begun because I sure thought we were about to be goners.
I can guess that Cuppa and AC would have managed to get together if that episode had not occurred, but as it turned out, that was a rather seminal — for me, at least.
I say “for me” because, apparently, Cuppa has no recollection of the incident or even of the weekend — the weekend in which our “friendship” was the talk of the whole retreat. I know about this lapse of memory because I just asked her if there was someone else in the back seat with us. I know who was in the front — Ron and Bruce — but can’t remember if anyone was in the back with Cuppa and me. As it turns out, Cuppa doesn’t remember anything at all about the event and hardly anything about the weekend.
Here I am waxin all maudlin and sentimental over a seminal moment, and she can’t recall a flippin thing. I guess this means I’m going to have to sue for divorce.