Tuesday, December 08, 2009

On Greg Mortenson and old men driving in parking lots...

Last night, Mimi and I went to see Greg Mortenson speak at a local church. We had been planning to go to this particular lecture for weeks – ever since finishing his first book Three Cups of Tea. Although I knew his book was popular and was expecting a crowd, I had NO idea it would be as jam-packed as it was! Mimi and I arrived a good hour before the start of the lecture AND STILL ended up in the overflow room! Amazing!

Mortenson visiting the people in overflow...

While trying to park, we wound our way around the humongous parking lot. It was mass chaos, and since we do not attend that particular parish, Mimi decided to ask directions to the main sanctuary. There was an officer from the Dallas Sheriff’s Office helping to direct traffic, and Mimi rolled down the passenger side window to ask if there was any parking left near where the lecture was scheduled to take place. However, before she could finish asking, a large, champagne-colored SUV backed into my car.

From my vantage point in the driver’s seat, it all happened in slow motion. When we stopped to ask directions, the SUV in front of me continued to drive forward. All the cars were in a single file line, so when we stopped to ask directions from the cop, my car temporarily held up the cars behind me. Then, all of a sudden, the SUV in front of me started to reverse. At first, I wasn’t concerned. He was a good 25 or 30 feet ahead of me. But it was soon clear he didn’t see me. So, I started honking and flashing my lights. The Dallas Sheriff started yelling and waving his arms, and even Mimi started screaming at the car to stop. I threw my car into reverse before remembering that I couldn’t back up because there was a car directly behind me. All I could was helplessly watch as the champagne-colored SUV slowly made contact with my parked car.


After the collision, the SUV pulled forward, and the driver exited his vehicle to talk to the cop. Then, he got back in the SUV and drove away. By this time, Mimi had jumped out of my car to inspect the damage, and I was busy rummaging through my glove box for my insurance information. I was about to drive after the SUV when the cop came back over to my car, and told me the following:

  • There was no damage to my car.

  • The driver of the SUV had no idea he had hit me. He hadn’t seen my car behind him, and apparently did not HEAR or FEEL the crunch of our two vehicles colliding.

  • The driver of the SUV was elderly, and obviously agitated by the number of people at his church and the overwhelming parking situation. This was only compounded when the cop STOPPED him from backing into “his” usual handicapped parking space close to the front door. That’s right, the old man only stopped for the cop. Not because his SUV had just run into another car in the church parking lot.

Since there was no damage to my car, the cop decided against furthering exciting the old man by enlightening him to the minor accident he had just caused and (grumble, grumble) allowed him to continue on.

For the record, though, I think the gentleman driving the champagne-colored SUV with handicapped plates 3VY-DC should maybe reconsider driving. Especially, after dark. In crowded parking lots. Because, really: what if I hadn’t been in a car? What if I had just been walking through the parking lot? I know he didn’t mean to back into me, but I’m seriously concerned about his ability to operate a motor vehicle anymore. Not realizing you just backed into someone (despite all the honking and waving) IN FRONT OF A COP (no less) just isn’t normal. Someone should be concerned about not only the safety of other motorists, but HIM as well.

I can only hope that someone in his family reads this.

But I digress. The real point of this post is that:

The line to get books signed...

Greg Mortenson is amazing, and he not only signed our books, but also came into the overflow room and greeted all of us that couldn’t fit in the main sanctuary. He totally didn’t have to do that. I really thought the closest I would get to him was via the giant TV screen mounted on the wall. But there he was. I was so impressed. And giddy. And weeeeeeeeeee! I really respect what he is doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And I love that he also acknowledges the hard work of young people across the country.

If you’ve never heard of Greg Mortenson and the Central Asian Institute, I would highly recommend checking them out. Mr. Mortenson was up for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, and I believe it is only a matter of time until he receives the recognition he deserves.

Mimi getting our books signed!


Denise said...

Wow, I'm really surprised the cop didn't do anything. I'd be scared to have that old guy on the streets!

JLR said...

Wow. That cop really should have done something---'cause like you said, that man should NOT be driving.

Anonymous said...

Whatt, no damage, how's it no damage when the car back in to your car.....the cop is weird, he should have do something, is the old man's fault, I would have been chasing down that old man for some apology or money..since he hit your car...