Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Stilled Voice

In the early 1980s I bought an old scrapbook at a flea market.  The scrapbook had been kept by a Knoxville woman and I often wondered how it had ended up at a flea market.  It was full of old letters, newspaper clippings, greeting cards and photographs.

Tucked inside a white envelope were two old newspaper clippings from 1931.  For some reason, this story made such an impression on me, I can't forget it.

Detail under the photo of Miss Mildred Turner.  She often sang in the
church choir and also sang at Knoxville radio stations WNOX
and WROL

This event took place in 1931.  Mildred Turner "slipped away Saturday with two boys for a trip to Pineville, Kentucky," according to Miss Eva Webb who roomed with her.

Edward Bayless, driver of the car, collided head on with a five-ton tobacco truck rounding a curve near Bull Run.  Mildred Turner was killed and three others were injured.  The article goes into gruesome detail on how the "vehicles are telescoped".  I can't bring myself to write the gruesome details, maybe that is why I have never forgotten this story.

One quote I will share:  We were coming toward Knoxville, about 35 or 40 miles an  hour, I guess.  Suddenly the oncoming headlights loomed up, somebody yelled and after that it was 'curtains' for me.

I am going to call this article the "second" article
 in the envelope.


The "first" article that was in the envelope.

This "first" article describes an accident in which Bayless was a passenger in a car in which the driver was killed in a tobacco truck-automobile collision within a half mile of the accident that claimed this young singer, Mildred Turner. Here are two very similar accidents, three weeks apart within a half mile distance, each claiming a life involving a collision with a tobacco truck.

Detail from headline, Edward Bayless is not expected to live,
according to the newspaper.

In 1989, I was reading a local newspaper and once again,
here is the name I had remembered from that long ago article.

I dug up the articles and it all came together, this was the man in the
accidents and he had lived to be 82 years old.

(I blurred out family names)


Shelly said...

Wow! I love stories like this. What a connection. I wrote a post about a 1930's annual I bought and was able to make some identification of the owner and her boyfriend. Yours are amazing!

Clint said...

You and I have discussed the scrapbook contents that you so wisely purchased for years. And this story is truly sensational! The stories that old scrapbooks and diaries can tell! And how smart and aware of you to tie these pieces together.......

Like you, I am so intrigued by the fact that there are so many family photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, etc available at flea markets.

Cindy Ellison said...

Shelly ~ I have read your story about the yearbook, it was sensational! A few weeks later, I pulled up your blog for Clint to read your post about the lost loves in your story. He loved your post, too. You are a very talented writer, Shelly! It was so good to see you here, thank you! ♥

Clint ~ Yes, you and I have often remarked at how many family photos we see out there, even at the Goodwill. I sometimes wonder if the pictures we see are from divorces (the spouse thowing out the ex's picture). I also wonder if some are cleared out from foreclosures or from those storage place auctions.

Shady Del Knight said...

It helps to have a great memory like yours, Cindy. You connected the dots that brought the story to a conclusion. I am delighted to see that you're getting acquainted with Shelly. You and Shelly are two of the best bloggers I have ever encountered and both of you have been excellent friends to me.

I still have survivor's remorse from a bizarre chain of actual events that reads like the screenplay from Final Destination or a similar work of pure fiction. Around Thanksgiving 1966 I stood on a hill near the Shady Dell with two friends. We were drinking. When all alcohol had been consumed the three of us headed for home in our separate cars. Only two of us made it. The third got into a head-on collision with, of all people, my favorite stock car racing champion from the local dirt track who was driving his high performance passenger car at a high rate of speed. My friend, who was in a tiny sports car, was nearly killed. He was hospitalized several weeks but survived. 38 years later he was kayaking on a lake and drowned. Three months later his wife, still despondent over his death, climbed to the 8th floor of a parking garage and jumped to her death. My other friend who had been drinking with me that night in 1966 was killed two years later along with two other teenage friends from my school in a head-on collision on the same road where my first friend had nearly lost his life in the crash with the race car driver! As Dickey Lee sang, "strange things happen in this world."

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

This is an amazing story. It's so sad. Yet intriguing. I'd never thought of buying a scrapbook from a flea market. Thanks for sharing this.

Cindy Ellison said...

Shady ~ My Goodness! The story you have shared on here sounds like some of the song's themes that you posted on your Halloween series. You brought up an interesting phrase, "survivor's remorse". I had not heard that in a while. Your story is similar to the story I told on here. I would imagine you think about these events especially around Thanksgiving. How many times do we hear of someone who had a dangersous profession such as a race car driver or fighter pilot die in a home accident such as a fall? Your friend in the kayaking accident must have been in swift water. You have been blessed to live longer than your friends. I would think it makes you realize you have more responsibility or missions to carry out here on earth. We already know one of your missions; to keep alive the Shady Dell.
Thank you, Shady, for sharing this amazing story.

Karen ~ I'm not sure why, I love scrapbooks. Around 2002 I threw away all my scrapbooks that I had kept for seven years. I have some hoarding tendencies and the books were getting crumbly. I did take any photos there were in them. Before long I am going to do a post on a beautiful scrapbook that I found in an antique store. It's painful to still think about my old scrapbooks but I try to not think about them. This last move was quite difficult because we had more stuff.

Karen, hope things are going well with you and your family. Thank you for your visit and comment ♥