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Archive for January 4th, 2011

Unexpected Midnight Visitor

That post reminded me of an incident at my parents’ house, long after I’d moved out and many years ago.

For context, the Ancestral Home is a three-story brick pile dating back to the late 1800s, with nonstandard bricks and much thicker walls than you’d expect, with plaster-on-lathe interior finishing and really nice wood trim. It’s on the southwest corner of the Hummelstown PA town square, where Main Street tapers down to two lanes.

They were awakened around midnight by a mighty crash downstairs and found this in the front room:

Interior View

Interior View

It seems a westbound van, traveling at what’s tautologically called “a high rate of speed”, swerved across Main Street, tripped on the curb, plowed down a concrete planter, and spanked the front corner of the house pretty hard:

Front View

Front View

The driver wasn’t thrown clear, but a whole pile of crap fell out as they were extracting him.

Outside View

Outside View

Even in the days before air bags, this one was a total loss:

Aftermath - The Van

Aftermath - The Van

IIRC, the charge came down DWI but I vaguely recall he somehow wriggled out of that.

The building was never quite the same thereafter, either: those plaster walls were never meant to take a direct hit.

The pix are more horribly discolored satin-finish pages from the Family Album. One could do better color correction if one really had to, but …

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