A Very Sad Day in May 1967

An old family friend Lute Barker was visiting us from El Dorado Springs Missouri. For years Lute lived in an old school bus he had converted into his home. The bus was parked on a piece of land located in Oak grove where the waffle house is today.

Momma was in the kitchen cooking supper. She decided she needed macaroni and cheese since we were having an extra person at the table. She asked Daddy to go to Corn’s to buy to some. She told me to go with them, so I would make sure we got the right thing. Daddy couldn’t read so you never knew what he would bring home.

  Daddy, Lute, and I got in the car and were driving down Old 40 Highway between Bates City and Oak Grove. I looked back and saw my brother Larry following behind us. He had just crossed over the old bridge when I noticed he was acting like the steering wheel wasn’t working. I thought he was just joking. I was laughing and waving at him. Then his car went out of control, and went off the road and crashed into a big tree. I screamed and told Daddy to stop the car. We ran over to Larry’s car and pulled him out. I could tell he was hurt real bad. We got him into Daddy’s car. I looked back and saw the car go up in flames. Larry was crying out in pain. To this day I have never heard anyone in that kind of pain. We drove him the three miles to Dr. Williams Office in Oak Grove. The ambulance came and took Larry and Daddy to Lexington hospital. The doctor’s office called Linda and Jack. They picked me up and we drove to the hospital. It was too late. Larry had died in route to the hospital. A large part of my Daddy went with Larry that day. He was never quit the same. Maybe none of us were either.

That night a minister came to offer his condolences and support. My Daddy told him to get the hell out of his house. Where was God when his son was killed?  I didn’t understand why my Daddy talked to the minister that way. Now as a parent myself, I cannot imagine losing one of my children.

We didn’t have any money to pay for a funeral or buy proper clothes to wear. Our cousins Orville and Charlene took Daddy, Momma, Bettie, and myself to Robert Halls in Independence and bought us new clothes. I can still describe what our dresses looked like. They were the nicest clothes we had ever owned. Orville also collected enough money to pay for a large part of the funeral. Orville never had a pot to pee in, but he was the kindest hearted man I will ever know.

I know a day does not go by that I don’t think of him. Larry was only sixteen; He was working at Corn’s Grocery Store. They were training him to be a butcher. Our family was so proud . He had a bright future ahead of him. He was going to make something out of himself. I will always miss my  dear brother who left use far too soon.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tsonoda148
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 02:08:26

    Oh dear Mary, I know this one was not easy for you to write. Very sad. I can’t even imagine the pain everyone must have gone through.


  2. Babe's Place
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 03:21:55

    That is something I will never forget. Next time it will be a happy story . Hugs Mary


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