Tuesday, July 23, 2013

                Besides lying and swearing, Dale had a penchant for gossip. If he didn’t know what was going on, he went out of his way to find out what was happening. He had a need to know what was going on everywhere in the mountains. He would relentlessly pursue a rumor until he was sure that he had the whole story.

My brother Ken and I used to run with a volunteer ambulance company and fire department. One night we responded to an accident call in Melcroft, Pennsylvania. It was at across road and was a two car accident.  I was directing traffic at one arm of the cross road standing among the burning flares.

My brother was just lighting flares and directing traffic on one of the main arms on the highway. Dale drove up along my arm of the road. He stopped, then drove ahead only to pull off to the side of the roadway and park. He walked back to me. He didn’t day “Hi” or anything other than “Who was in the accident?” I was too far away from the accident to know and was isolated in my job of directing traffic. I watched him walk away from me toward the accident when he couldn’t get what he wanted from me. I could see him silhouetted in the lights at the accident site.

When he neared the collision, he recognized my brother. He turned away from the accident site (where he would have been told to leave) and walked toward my brother.

My brother saw Dale coming toward him. Ken had already lit two flares to control traffic, but as Dale drew near, my brother started walking farther and farther away from Dale, lighting flares as he went. Dale kept on coming. Dale finally caught up with Ken when my brother ran out of flares.

Dale asked the same question, “Who was involved in the accident?”

Ken gave Dale the same answer, “I don’t know, Dale.”

Disgusted, Dale walked back to the accident scene where the firemen were clearing the collision site. He hovered around the edge of firemen until he got the information he was after.

Later, my brother told me, “I ran out of flares or I would still be walking to avoid talking to that man.”

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