To the Editor:
I need to thank many people. I have no idea who most of them are.
April 21 I found myself and my car turned on its side in a ditch on Bozenkill Road near Crow Hill Road in the town of Knox. I got free of the seat belt, fell down to the passenger door (now my floor) looking up helplessly at the driver’s window (now my roof).
I managed to reach the key and turn off the engine. Reassured that the door was unlocked, I opted to stay put and breathe.
Soon I saw a very blond head peering down at me with a cell phone to his ear. I waved, but no chatting — he couldn’t hear me. Someone got the driver’s door ajar and I handed him an ice-scraper to prop it open, for communication.
Some other nice gent came along and ripped the door forward. “There” he said, with satisfaction.
“Whoosh” went the heat up out of the car into the cold. Someone lent me his jacket.
Some other nice be-spectacled gent with flying gray hair soon was chatting reassuringly with me, and somehow got down into the back seat to help with my head brace. A rescue volunteer, I think. I don’t know.
The Altamont Rescue Squad was on top of it. At first the rescue workers were very puzzled how on earth to get me out. It was a very awkward angle, in a deep ditch.
Finally, politely asking my permission, they opted to bash in the windshield. Thoughtfully putting a plastic blanket over me to receive shattering glass, they later scooped me up onto a board.
They politely asked if they could grab my trousers. I replied, “Grab anything you want.” They pulled me — still upside-down — onto the board by feet and by trouser.
Then the Altamont Rescue workers politely asked if they could cut off my favorite sweaters. I said, “I’d rather you didn’t” (I was freezing) and they figured out a way to get my arm out for needles, blood pressure, etc.
One said “Your turtleneck has been cut already,” and I said, “Oh, no, that’s just a dickey. You can cut that off.” I could swear she suppressed a laugh, but I can’t be sure of that.
Off I went to Albany Med for X-rays. I want all to know it turned out well. Altamont Physical Therapy is on top of it now, and I am going from “lucky” to “luckier.”
In a court of law, I would not be able to identify a single stranger who helped me that day, but I want them all to see this article. (Friends of theirs? Please pass it on.)
I am extremely grateful to these neighbors, volunteers, and professionals alike, to Sate Policeman Steven Rothwein (New Scotland), to my brother Vall/Zeb Pulliam (ex-Altamont Rescue volunteer) and sister Faith Fogarty, both of whom cleaned out my car and met me at the hospital.
“Wow” say I, and thank you, for your help.