Having the hood of your car hit the windshield is one experience I would not wish upon anyone. It is something that one cannot imagine what it is like until it happens, and then the memory is seared in your brain forever.
It was a dark and dreary night; well, not so dreary, but very dark. My college-aged sons had borrowed my van to take some friends to an event in Houston. Before they left, I carefully explained that the gas gauge was not accurate, therefore they needed to watch the odometer. When the trip miles reached 300, they needed to put some more gasoline into the tank. The boys appeared to be listening to my words and understanding what I was saying. I was confident that they would be able to make their trip without any problems.
About 2 o’clock in the morning, I received a telephone call. It was Allen, who told me that the van would not start, so please bring some jumper cables and give the van a jump. They were on the side of Farmers Road (now Woodland Hills) at the intersection with Atascocita Road. I keep jumper cables in my vehicle at all times. Therefore, I put on a robe and drove to where the van was stopped.
We used the jumper cables and tried to get the engine to start. After a few tries with no success, I looked at the trip mileage. It was on 312 miles. I slammed the door and said, “The jumper cables will not help. You are out of gas. We’ll have to come back in the morning with gas.”
Allen disconnected the cables from the battery and closed the hood; both boys got into the car. At the time of this incident, Atascocita Road was two lanes with deep ditches on each side. There were no street lights anywhere along the road. When we were all settled in the seats, I began to drive home. About 5 minutes later that was a loud thud and all I could see was blackness. I managed to pull off the road and stop without driving into the deep ditch. Allen and I got out of the car and saw the hood covering the windshield. It was at that time that I remembered that the front of the car had been hit and the hood did not latch properly unless it was pushed down extra hard, which Allen had not done. That was a dreadful mistake.
Allen pulled the hood down over the engine, but now the part of the hood that covered the radiator was turned up in an almost 90-degree angle. There was no way to get the hood to latch. I asked Allen to look in the glove box to see if there was some rope in it. He replied, “Just drive slow, Mom. The hood will stay down.”
I became furious. The last thing I wanted to happen again was for the hood to hit the windshield. I yanked the belt off my robe and said, “Here; tie the hood down. I’m not driving anywhere without it tied down.”
Even with the hood tied down, I drove home slowly. When I got out of the car at home, I opened the back door and removed a tube which contained a print that I was planning to have framed the next day. The print went back into the house; the money for framing it would now be used to get a new hood on the car.
I never want to be blinded by the hood of the car hitting the windshield again.