Monday, September 8, 2008

Another Crash, I missed it by 3 Laps

Yesterday I was at Lancaster General Hospital one floor down from my old room visiting Bruce Olney. He crashed on the sixth lap of the weekly training race last Wednesday. He broke and displaced six ribs, punctured a lung, broke his collarbone and had a mild concussion. Similar crash to mine--touched wheels and slammed into the road. Lucky for him it was at 27mph instead of 51mph.

I was at the training race on the tandem with my youngest daughter Lisa. We rode nine miles to the race and after three 3.25-mile laps I was tired and I thought the riders at the back were getting squirrelly, so Lisa and I turned off and went home. Bruce crashed on Lap 6.

Bruce's painkillers were working well, he showed no signs of bad pain. And his family was lots of fun. When I arrived, his wife, two children and in-laws were in the room. Bruce is about my age. His in-laws are Mennonite and wearing the plain clothes of their generation. We were joking around about bicycle riding and recovering until Bruce's parents left.

After the in-laws left, Bruce's kids, age 17 and 19 started talking about joining the FBI and using Army ROTC to get on the fast track in. Lois, Bruce's wife said is a nurse. She said she was thinking about joining the Army. I told them they are the first Combat Mennonite family I ever met. I have known Bruce a long time, but we talked more in his hospital room than the last ten years put together. When you only see people in helmets and out of breath you don't know how interesting they are.

Who Fights Our Wars: Marine Veteran on a Local Train

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