Other close calls

Saved from drowning

At about six years of age, I was playing at a beach on the ocean side of the San Francisco peninsula. Suddenly, a huge wave engulfed me, and I was swept out into the ocean by a powerful undercurrent. I recall that even at such a young age, my life flashed before me in seconds as I was certain that this was the end for me. Then, just as suddenly as the first wave that engulfed me, another wave caught me and washed me up on shore.

Hit by cars

At abut the age of seven, I tried to run across the street to escape friends who were chasing me. A car hit me and  flung me back onto the sidewalk. And while riding my bicycle to delivering newspapers as a teenager in Fresno, California, I was hit broadside at an intersection by a fast-moving car. Neither of these collisions caused any injuries.

Close call with a train

As newspaper carriers for the San Francisco Chronicle, we would wait for bundles of papers to be thrown from a train at the train depot in Burlingame, California. After unwrapping the newspapers, I loved to lay the old newspapers they were wrapped in on the tracks so that they would be scattered to the wind when the next train came by (no concern for the environment)..

One day as I was carefully laying out the papers on one of he tracks, people at the station yelling and screaming at me to get off the tracks. I could see a train coming straight towards me, but on a different set of tracks, so I was not worried and continued methodically laying out the papers.

A loud train  whistle alerted me to turn around and look behind me. The fast-moving Del Monte express train was heading straight toward me (in the other direction from the train I was watching) on the track on which I was standing, and it was only yards away from me. I am not a sprinter, but the speed at which I got off those tracks would have broken some kind of record. I was shaking so bad that I had to have another carrier fold my newspapers for me before delivering them.

Temporary foot paralysis prevented collision

Several years ago, while driving from the north towards our home in Bountiful, I took the 400 North exit off of the I-15 freeway.  Driving south on 500 West, I stopped at a red light at 400 North. When the light turned green, I tried to proceed through the intersection, but could not apply any pressure to the gas pedal. It was as though my foot was paralyzed.

Suddenly, a car came racing through the intersection in front of me, apparently trying to beat the red light. Had I driven forward as intended, I probably would have been hit broadside.

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