TWO EVENTS ON BROCKTON AVENUE Brockton Avenue connects the town of Abington to the city of Brockton. It is also known as Route 123.
I had two experiences on that street that I will probably never forget. They seem to come right out of two episodes from Outer Limits
by Rod Serling.
While driving toward Brockton one clear sunny afternoon, I suddenly saw two streets, each in perfect focus
and adjacent. Fortunately there was only one car hood and steering wheel to deal with. I didn't know which one was the actual street
or if either street was real. I can't keep driving and I can't stop. How do I pull over? Which side of which view should I aim for?
I settled on the street that appeared to be on the right and headed for what I hoped was the side of the road. I stopped. As soon
as the vehicle came to rest, my vision returned to normal.
This experience only happened that one time. An exam by a neurosurgeon diagnosed
the problem as "something congenital". I often wondered how a pilot approaching a runway would deal with the sudden appearance of
duplicate lighted paths. Air traffic control, most likely would make the decision for him.
Another clear sunny day while driving
toward Abington, I noticed something very peculiar about the car in front of me. It was proceeding at the speed limit and in the middle
of his lane but the car was empty. There were no passengers and there was no driver. The road curved slightly to the left and so did
the phantom driver. I honked but got no response. Since this was long before the days of cell phones, there was nobody I could call.
Besides, what would I say. I am following a car along Brockton Avenue and there is nobody in it. Not even a driver." Even driverless
cars need gas eventually and that is what happened next.
The car veered slowly to the left and entered a gas station but without slowing
down. It hit the island and came to a stop on top of the curbing. When I looked in the car, everything became apparent as to what
took place. A man was slouched down across the front seat. I turned him over and noticed he had a gray pallor, most likely due to
lack of oxygen from a heart attack. I cupped my hands and placed them over his mouth while trying to get some breath into his lungs.
I didn't have to do this very long because the ambulance people showed up and took over.
The next day, while having lunch in the teacher's
room at Abington High School, I related the incident to those who were present and discovered that the man was the husband of a fellow
teacher. He died that afternoon.