George Harrison - Crackerbox Palace

Written by Timothy M. Viard, South Carolina -
My Father died on Labor Day, 1976 from brain cancer. My mother was 31 and just was not equipped to respond the right way to such a massive change. She had never had a driver’s license, suffered from Bipolar illness, and had three young boys to tend to. We were living in Fort Mill, SC down the road from Carowinds in a trailer park called Twin Lakes Estates, Twin Lakes being a septic cesspool formation occupied by ducks and whatnot: picturesque in its own way I guess.

In my mind I hear a turbo prop buzzing overhead and a tan 16 year old girl is standing with a Kiss album. Afternoon Delight is playing, the sun is shining and faint screams of roller coaster riders,...then I'm kinda crying, sort of catch a glimpse of The Jerry Lewis Telethon and it’s nightfall. I'm listening to a 1972 Sony radio, wood like breadbox, with a bug stuck in the green glowing dial.

In the Spring of 77' the AMC dealership where my Father had been a car salesman, chipped in to get our mother a car and also got us a weekend pass to a country club. We went all day and stayed until it closed at 11:30. The whole day we swam in an indoor pool and enjoyed our new terry cloth jumpsuits they gave us.

It was late and we climbed into the blue 1972 Mazda RX3 and started back to the trailer park. A short time later we all became sleepy, the radio was kinda low with Cracker Box Palace playing, then HEY MOM!

Our mother had fallen asleep and jolted awake: she mashed the gas instead of the brake, over corrected and hit the grassy raised shoulder, launching us into the trees.

The volume knob got cranked and it was blasting the song, gas was pouring and we all yelled TURN OFF THE ENGINE!

It was a mess; my brother who was sitting in the front seat busted his nose wide open on the dash like an egg in a frying pan. Our Mom bit through her upper lip and my other brother flew in the fetal position, wedging in the back glass area. I got some serious rope burn to my forehead having not been restrained and I had been resting my head on the back of our mother’s seat.

The impact briefly replayed itself. We hit the tree and spun at least once all the way around it because the tree looked kind of like the old Batman between scenes thing.

After the wreck my oldest brother popped himself out of the back glass spot and we climbed out and walked to the road, it was pitch black. Joe went to a house and the people called for an ambulance. We stood along the shoulder and a while later they came and got us.

I got into Blood Rock when I was 14, the poor man’s Grand Funk.

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