“Eons” ago, on this very day, I was en route to my 20 kilometers / 12.5 miles distant Community College to attend my Friday broadcasting classes. Wintry precipitation was slightly complicating the flow of 8:45 a.m. rush-hour traffic.
Still harboring those foolish, “I’m invincible and immortal” delusions (like most teens do)… I didn’t deem this minor snowfall worthy of much concern.
Paying far more attention to my FM radio’s rock tunes than to my speedometer, I didn’t realize that the road conditions were deteriorating with each passing minute and mile. My collision with reality occurred upon my arrival at a freeway overpass, where a thin layer of ice had repurposed that bridge into a skating rink.
Starting to fishtail, I panicked and slammed on the brakes. As if that error hadn’t sufficiently complicated matters, there was also the prospect of the sea of oncoming headlights. Worse yet, leading that vehicular “parade” was a massive, take no prisoners, 18-wheeler.
To this very day, I still cannot fully recall the precise details to what turned out to be my “Hail Mary” / last ditch steering maneuver. Indeed, long before I had rattled off, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen,” something truly astounding occurred. Somehow, someway, I wound up back in my lane. Jumping the curb, I was now neatly “perpendicular parked” between two, closely spaced road signs.
Hell, only a veteran Hollywood stunt driver could’ve pulled that off in one “take”.
As my adrenaline level gradually ebbed, I realized  I had totally avoided a fatal head on crash,  all the other drivers, in the vicinity, were also totally unscathed and  I had emerged with nary a scratch to either my own body or my car’s.
The other motorists, out of consideration (or perhaps out of fear that I’d demonstrate some further boneheaded driving) had all brought their vehicles to a dead halt and were actually patiently waiting for me to shift into reverse to get back onto the highway.
Reentering the morning commute, with my newfound, heightened respect for the slippery conditions, the first song the FM DJ played was the aptly titled, inspirational Carry On Till Tomorrow.
Albeit with frayed nerves, bruised ego and my vehicle’s newly acquired, minor front-end wheel alignment problems, I did make it to my 9 a.m. class… mere minutes late.
Only after class, did the full impact of that morning’s events begin to fully sink in. This had been my first, ever, brush with death. If it hadn’t been dumb luck that had spared my life, who did? Whose hands, just in the nick of time, had guided my own on the steering wheel?
Had I collided my Chevy Nova with that massive gravel hauling truck, at the very least, I’d have come up with a whole new meaning to the phrase, “compact car”. At the very worst…
My tombstone’s date of death would’ve read November 9, 1973.