Car troubles standard in my family

By Tammy Keith Originally Published October 13, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated October 11, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
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My younger son’s girlfriend swears our family is jinxed when it comes to cars.

I’m beginning to see her point.

The first time she went to Jonesboro with him to meet his grandparents (my parents), an 18-wheeler ran them off the road, he had a flat, the spare had a blowout, and then he locked his keys in the car and it had to be towed.

(That would be the “let-me-sum-up” version from The Princess Bride.)

While they were driving to a restaurant to celebrate her new job, he had a wreck in the same car.

The next time they went to Jonesboro, the air conditioning went out in his car.

I joked with her that maybe SHE was bad luck since she was with him during all these incidents.

However, she heard about our other car calamities, including various and sundry wrecks.

My husband proudly wears a T-shirt given to him by the owner of the collision center we frequent on a far-too-regular basis.

It is widely known in my family that I have many times backed into parked vehicles, starting with my dad’s when I was a teenager, my mother’s and my husband’s, then the closed garage door.

This time, though, it was not my fault.

A couple of weeks ago, I was involved in a hit and run. I was the hittee, not the runner.

I had been shopping in one of my favorite thrift stores (momma loves a bargain) on a Sunday, and I heard the dreaded: “Would the owner of a white … ?”

I immediately said, “Who hit me?”

The employee told me that the woman was “coming back into the store.”

So the first person I saw was an elderly woman, and I said, not unkindly, “Did you hit me?”

“No!” she said, looking horrified and confused.

I apologized. Instead, I found a man standing near my vehicle, holding his cellphone.

He had seen a car hit my SUV as the driver parked, her side view mirror hitting and scraping my vehicle. She had sat there for a second, then backed out and left.

He got it all on “tape.” Well, on his cellphone video.

Her license plate had the logo of a college in Conway. I won’t say which one because it’s not the institution’s fault that she used poor judgment.

I couldn’t believe she left without a word.

I called 911 because I was a little too nervous to remember the police department’s number.

A nice officer, one I remembered as a school resource officer at my sons’ former middle school, came quickly.

The man who videoed the escapee was a preacher. Hallelujah! What better witness could you have?

We realized that I’d done a feature on a mural at a church where he was a youth pastor, and now he has started his own church.

The weather was great, and he and I talked and lamented the lack of responsibility of some “kids these days.” He quoted some Scripture, which was nice, seeing as how I had skipped church that morning.

The police officer was funny and enjoyable to talk with, too. A car almost backed into his SUV, and we almost saw another wreck in the parking lot before we finished.

The officer made contact with the 20-year-old, who said she didn’t realize she had hurt my car when she accidentally hit it with her side mirror, which slammed against her car.

She said her daddy, a military man, was not going to be happy.

No, I doubt that he had taught her to leave the scene of an accident.

So, I had a broken tail-light and a scratch. It could have been worse.

I’m lucky that Scott’s girlfriend wasn’t there to see it.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or

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