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Are you in good hands?

The Myth Busters have nothing on me--I managed to bust three long-standing myths in one day. Seven is not a lucky number, the third time is not a charm, and our life does not pass before us when we are about to die, or think we are. All three of these were busted in a short space of a few minutes. I had been visiting friends down in the valley and all three occurred as I was entering the Bench Area wherein I reside.

I had just come up the hill and was sitting in my 1990 LTD Crown Victoria waiting to make a left-hand turn. I know I was car number seven as I have this long-standing habit of counting things. I always count the number of people in a band or choir, the number of riders in a posse in any B Western, the number of freight cars going by on the tracks, and also how many cars make it through the light before it changes.

Have you ever noticed when making a left-hand turn the first car in line always seems not to be paying attention when the light changes? This, of course, has an effect on how many cars make it through the light. This time was no exception and in retrospect I wish the lead car had been even slower so my number seven would have had to wait for the next light. Alas, it was not to be; I made it through the light. It had not been a particularly good week. There is a lot of construction going on in my area with gravel trucks traveling from the pits to various construction sites almost continually. Twice in one week I had come very close to a personal acquaintance with a couple of these trucks on county roads.


The first time I had just topped the rise and was heading down the hill when "Something" told me to kick off the cruise control. The driver definitely saw me, however he still decided to pull his double trailer bottom pour gravel dump truck in front of me. I had three choices, hit one of his trailers broadside, go straight up the side of a hill and tip over, or the best choice, somehow manage to stop. Because I had been forewarned the latter proved to be the safe option. Two days later, the same thing happened again only this time I was coming up the hill and ! knew once again a gravel truck was going to pull out in front of me. It was easier to stop this time. Two close calls. Would the third one be a charm? It turned out to definitely not be so.

I made it through the light and was now less than two miles from home. I had just started to pick up speed when I saw it coming. A car coming the other way suddenly veered into my lane and I had nowhere to go. He was going to hit me and I was powerless to do anything. Was this the way I would die? That was the only thought I had time for and my life definitely did not pass before my eyes. I felt the impact straight on, my LTD was turned 90 degrees and, for the first time in my life, I experienced the wonderful feeling of being hit by an airbag. For 18 years that bag had sat waiting to perform its function in the old Ford. As I sat there somewhat choking in the dust of the airbag my immediate thought was I don't think I'm hurt and Thank God for air bags and seatbelts.

For much of my driving life, over half a century I had never worn seatbelts. Too much trouble; too confining. Two years ago in the space of one week I was stopped, once by a sheriff's deputy and the other time by a city officer, and cited for not wearing a seatbelt. Since it happened twice I figured "Someone" was trying to tell me something and I began wearing my seatbelt. Now in the first accident I had ever had in over 50 years of driving that seatbelt coupled with the airbag prevented serious injury, or worse.

The fellow who hit me had bounced off and driven up into a yard. At the sound of the crash the neighbors came out. One lady in her housecoat sat in the back seat of the other fellow's car and held him from behind until the paramedics showed up. Someone came over to make sure I was OK and help me out of the car. Two ladies each brought me a cold drink and a chair to sit on in the shade. (The next day a large box of chocolates appeared on each of their doorsteps.) Four different LEO cars arrived and I had to give my side of the story four times as well as to the paramedics. The fellow who hit me had a seizure and was still having seizures as they took him off in the ambulance. The good news: He was also OK and was released from the hospital the next day.

My LTD did not fare as well as we did. As it sat there bleeding antifreeze all over the street I knew it was a total loss. Ford must have done something special with their line of LTDs in 1990 as many of these are still seen on the road. The upholstery in mine had not even started to wear, the original vinyl top was still intact with no cracks, and in spite of its mileage I did not have to add oil between changes. It was my every day running around car as well as the one borrowed by anyone in the family while their car was in the shop. Now it was gone, however the police officer said I was definitely not at fault so I knew the other driver's insurance company would take care of things. Sure they would!

My wife Diamond Dot, who is an independent insurance agent working with long-haul truckers, called the insurance company and received a very unpleasant surprise. It seems there is a clause concerning an Act of God as they labeled this occurrence. Since there was no negligence on the man's part they were not liable for any damages. What!? I contacted my insurance company and they assured me also there was such a clause, however since I carried collision insurance on the LTD they would stand the loss plus provide any money I needed for physical therapy. There is no way I could find a car to replace my LTD for the payment provided, however the check they sent has been turned into a .44 Special Colt New Frontier and a 5-screw pre-Model 28 Highway Patrolman.

I know both of my new purchases are well covered by insurance. What about your firearms? Are they in good hands? It might be a good idea to check your homeowner's policy and just see what is covered. Most of them will only cover a certain amount. The firearms insurance provided to NRA members only goes so far. Some insurance policies require a listing of all firearms to be covered. Most of us prefer not to do this although I did this for several years way back when, and then for many years I had a policy that covered my firearms without providing a list of serial numbers and descriptions.

As I acquired more and more firearms along with leather goods, reloading equipment, and a house full of mounted trophies, Diamond Dot switched our coverage to a policy separate from our homeowner's insurance covering everything connected with my shooting and writing activities and without having to list everything. We simply choose the amount of coverage needed each year and pay the premium. It is definitely not cheap, however I know everything accumulated over more than 50 years of shooting is covered.

What about your firearms and accessories? Are you really in good hands? Or will you find a closed fist if you ever need to collect? Now may be a very good time to check your policy and talk with your agent to determine just exactly what is covered and to what extent. Most of us never find out until it is too late.
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Title Annotation:CAMPFIRE TALES
Author:Taffin, John
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Previous Article:The storm crow speaks.
Next Article:Don't do this at home!

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