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The Flash on Palo Verde

Story ID:6697
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1960
Person:Lucky Chelsea Kansas Kid-Teamster-7
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The Flash on Palo Verde

On a job in Palo Verde
Did I get a fright?
I beat the odds, again
Much to my delight.

On a job for a private school
We were hauling D.G.
For tennis courts
High up on Palo Verde.

In my eighteen wheeler
As I crawled up the hill
With a load of D.G. gravel
Onto the tennis court for fill.

I dumped my load into a far corner
Of the lot
John told me one more load
To fill up one more low spot.

I arrived with the load
Precisely at twelve o’clock noon
I was told to dump it in the opposite corner
And I was through for the afternoon.

I backed into the spot
To dump my last load
Started to dump the trailer
Then I could hit the road.

As I looked out the back window
I heard this explosion and saw a brilliant purple flash
The drive tires did explode
And were burning to an ash.

I hit the button
To let the bed come down
Opened the truck door
And stepped down to the ground.

Lucky for me the 16,000 volt wire
Lay snapping on the ground
The wire had burned in two
And was jumping all around.

I heard the ambulance siren
Wailing, coming up the hill
Came to a screeching halt
Just off the fill.

Where’s the driver
They asked the foreman there
He pointed to me
Both of them did stare.

You are the driver?
They asked me
I said yes
They turned and left immediately.

The Edison’s guys that
Came to shut off the electricity
They were mad because
The reason for ruining their pitch game, was me.

The man from the Telephone company
Wanted to take my photo
With his Polaroid
And the picture to me he did show.

He said you are looking
At a dead man here
You’ll never guess how lucky
You are to be standing there.

He said the last one of these
That he came out on
They swept the driver
Out of the seat with a whiskbroom and dustpan.

The 16,000 watt jolt
Had ruined 15 of the 18 tires
On my truck
An electric transformer had exploded and had started several fires.

The electricity was off in Palo Verde
The signal lights ceased to work
It burned up an old tree
That came over on Noah’s Ark.

After Mike the mechanic
Replaced the 15 tires
I started down the hill
Thanking God that I didn’t expire.

I had nothing to eat
And driving down Pacific Coast highway
I stopped at a small store
For something to eat that day.

The thought crossed my mind
Thinking my nine lives might be up
I hesitated a long time
Before stepping out of the truck.

Since I had been so lucky
I was scared to step down
That some bicycle in the street
Would knock me to the ground.

I figured that Kenny, my boss
Would tell me that I was through
Would hand me my last check
There was nothing I could say or do.

Kenny said
“Monte didn’t you see that power line?”
I said no I didn’t see the low wire
I drove home
Happy I had not been fired.

Kenny never mentioned this to me again
This I did admire
I worked for him several more years
Until I retired.

Monte 10-16-2006