If you've been following the work of the Greencastle City Council in recent weeks, you know that its members have endeavored to right some longtime wrongs by turning a couple of perilous intersections into four-way stops.
One is the no-brainer at Vine and Franklin streets, where even before Wasser Brewing Co. brought renewed activity to the old NAPA building on the southeast corner, it was already a dangerous intersection where you could not trust that everybody approaching knew who was to stop and who wasn't.
Now, as visibility at the intersection is squeezed by parked vehicles and delivery trucks making stops, it has become a four-way stop intersection, which should be a bit safer for all concerned.
The other intersection is one in which I have more personal interest. Unfortunately, the new four-way stop coming at Walnut and Indiana streets is about 20 years too late for me.
You see, it's the only place I've ever been involved in a real traffic accident (I know, I know, I've probably just jinxed myself).
But prior to my mishap at Walnut and Indiana back in 1996, my last fender-bender was the tap in the rear I got in my cherished 1966 Mustang while a senior in high school.
Irony was that the girl who sat behind me in homeroom back then, Jane Berry, was the driver who bumped into me on Fifth Avenue in Maywood, Ill., after school one rainy winter's day. Sure, I'd always wanted to turn around and talk to her in homeroom but could never muster the bluster. But her running into my bumper on an otherwise dreary day certainly was no way to overcome teenage shyness either.
Our little mishap proved no harm, no foul for both of us, so we didn't even exchange info (yes, I am an idiot sometimes). I believe I did finally say something to her along the lines of, "Hey, I know where to find you," before jumping back in my car and driving off.
Nothing like that happened at Walnut and Indiana where instead the front end of my five-speed, metallic blue Toyota Celica (purchased from current Banner Graphic ad salesman/sports writer Gary Hazlett and family) basically got knocked off by a pickup truck one snowy night.
Indiana Street traffic, of course, didn't stop and I was headed east on Walnut, ready to zip across the snow-covered roadway when the first sign of headlights suddenly emerged from the north. I hit the brakes, and my car slid sideways into the intersection instead of stopping, making me a sitting duck for the rambling pickup truck.
I've replayed that wreck over and over in the slow motion of my mind, remembering how the left side of my head smacked the side window on impact but didn't leave a mark. If only there had been a big, red stopsign there for Indiana Street traffic.
To this day I wonder if that wreck has been the root cause of the headaches I still get that just never completely go away.
Can't make them stop ... if I only had a sign ...