Waking up this morning I saw a post on Facebook about the 53rd anniversary of The Sound of Music which triggered the memory of how a six-year-old boy nearly splattered across the highway and woman named Pat Edelman saved his life.
Of course, that boy was me. I do not remember much from that day and 53 years later I'm not even 100% sure that was the movie we were on our way to see. I am 100% sure the memory is tied to that movie like a dead rat tied to a cement block and sinking to the bottom of a river in a thirties gangster movie.
Pat was my Mom's knitting buddy and two of them would knit and smoke all day; imagine a suburban sweat factory for middle-class housewives.
We all piled into the car to see the movie on opening weekend, which is still a habit of mine, not piling into cars but seeing movies on opening weekend and that special feeling that comes with being the first to see a big Hollywood movie.
I was the last to squeeze into the car, my head somewhat pressed against the back window, and then for the first time (an not the last) I met death on the Long Island Expressway.
The door I was leaning against flew open and I was falling to a certain death and could see the blacktop of the road ready to engulf me. Falling, falling. It seemed to last forever, like falling in a dream and you always wake before you die.
And then Pat's hand appeared latching onto mine and in one hard loving motion, pulled me back into the car. I don't remember much else from that day except that to this day, The Sound of Music has a special meaning in my life.