Grand Floridians

I wrote this on February 12th but only shared it with my Family Facebook Page. I now share it with you.


I moved down to Florida from East Quogue New York. Before moving to  East Quogue, I lived in the  Bronx for over twenty-six years. Thirty-three years in East Quogue did nothing but reinforce the Bronx in me.

I am proud of my Bronx heritage, as proud as I am of my Irish and British heritage.

Being a Yankee fan if not a Yankee, I came to Florida with not a few pre-conceived notions of the South and Southerners.  I guess studying history and all that the South represented at one time, to say nothing of the great divide between those who voted for Trump and those who did not, only served to strengthen these pre-conceived notions.

I have been pleased to find out that you don’t stop learning important things in your late sixties.

Last week I had the unfortunate experience of being broadsided by a garbage truck. I was driving my Rav4 past a shopping center when the garbage truck attempting to drive across the road to make a left turn rammed me.

I saw the truck at the exit to the shopping center but never saw it coming.

I heard what sounded like an explosion and glass shattering and then I felt the impact. I skidded for a bit, and then the car rolled over on its roof.

Finally coming to a stop, I unfastened my seat belt and shut the car off while hanging upside down.

Within seconds, maybe twenty, I had people calling to me if I was ok. I responded that I was but needed help getting out.

Fifteen seconds later I was up on my feet being tended to.

Naturally, I was in shock, or so one of my Grand Floridians told me.

There must have been fifteen to twenty people who stopped to help. One guy in a shirt and tie was administering to the cuts on my left leg. When I asked him if he was an EMT, (he may have thought I was checking his credentials), he told me that he was in the National Guard and had EMS training. He had a full emergency kit and cleaned my cuts and the blood dripping down my leg. I told him how grateful I was.

Another guy was on the phone, presumably with the 911 people, and asked me questions about how I was feeling and checked the usual parts, neck, legs, arms, etc. He relayed the information so that the EMT staff would know what they were facing.

Others just asked how I was doing.

I learned from these people what I knew already but tend to forget when I am watching the news.

No one asked me who I voted for. No one asked me if I was in favor of the wall. No one asked me if that was a Bronx accent  I was emitting. No one cared about any of that insignificant personal data.

They saw someone who needed help, and they took time out of their day to ensure that they helped me.

So now when I think about living in Florida and the people of Florida, I realize I am a better person because I do live in Florida and I had the great privilege of meeting these Grand Floridians.

I just wished the garbage truck missed me.

In closing, I am fine. I have been stunned by my good fortune, and I will try to never take that for granted.


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