So they asked me to tell the old story of when a run-away cow jumped into the side of our car when their dad and I were teen agers on a date?
The Great Depression years were a time when many families did not own an automobile. This was especially true in the South which did not begin to recover from the devastation of the Civil War between the States until after World War II.
Charles's Dad, Grady Shaw was a talented and good man. When he was finally able to buy a car, he took special care of it. Mr. Shaw was a generous and loving Dad who would loan the car to Charles and James, his teen aged sons as often as he could.
But as a responsible Dad, he would loan his car along with instructions concerning their behavior and with a final admonition, "Son, take care of my car."
A hard working but involved Dad, these boys were aware their Dad would always check mileage before they left and when they returned. Theyknew he would also inspect the car (and them) when they returned for any signs of carelessness or abuse.
Charles was the oldest of five boys. His brothers called him "Buddy." One afternoon, Charles and James borrowed their Dad's automobile and invited my school friend Julia and me to take a ride with them.
We were riding on a beautiful country road near Covington, only a few miles from my home. Charles was driving and I was seated beside him. Julia and James were sitting in the back seat.
All at once, we noticed an older farm woman in a long house dress and apron running down the hill with her arms raised, chasing a cow that had gotton outside a fenced area. The cow ran down the hill, across a ditch and jumped into the side on our car.
As with most accidents, it happened in a scary flash! Charles stopped the car, but the last we saw of the cow, it was running away from the car with a part of the car door handle still attached to it's side. The first words James said was, "Buddy, what are we going to tell Daddy."
What did they tell their Daddy? They told him the truth. Not that they were beyond stretching the truth into an untruth if it suited their purpose in those days. But they believed they might as well tell their Dad the truth because he had a way of finding out the truth anyway.
However, this truth was stranger than fiction and Daddy Shaw thought they were not telling the whole truth.
I had to assure his parents it was a true story after I came into the family.