It was a beautiful, cool morning in Jacksonville Beach, Fla during the summer of 1971. I jumped out of bed to shower, shave and grab a hot cup of coffee to wake me up as I needed to get to the Navy Base for morning muster. Climbing into the MGB, I decide to leave the top up so as not to muss up my hair and get in trouble as I board the ship for the day. Not wanting to deal with the traffic at the main gate, I decided to take the beach road into the back gate area. Cruising along at a comfortable speed, I need to take a last look at the hair and get out the comb. Staring into the mirror, comb in hand, I heard a terrible scraping noise, a large shudder and then the world started spinning. After what seemed like an eternity, everything became calm, serene and extremely quiet...but why do I hear laughter in the air? I noticed that I am no longer on the road but in what appears to be the jungle. Have I been transported back in time to Vietnam? I struggled to get out of the car and then noticed four long haired hippies standing on the road laughing and pointing at me. They had been behind me and witnessed my escapade. Apparently I had run off the pavement, came back on the blacktop, executed three perfect donuts going down the road and then headed straight for the jungle.
I must have been concentrating on the hairdo and went off the road where there is about a six inch drop off to the sand. I had panicked and smashed down on the accelerator which caused me to go speeding down the blacktop. Later, I discovered that the accelerator was indeed stuck to the floor. After calming down a bit and regaining my composure, the four hippies offered to help get the car back on the beach road. My rescuers had many tools in the back of their VW van, so they went at the foliage with axes and saws. I still could not drive the car free, so we finally had to pick the car up by hand, three of us on the front and two at the back. The five of us finally got the MG close enough to the road that I could drive it free. Once the MG was back on the road, we inspected for damage and found only the front valance and bumper had suffered from the event. It was getting late and I needed to be on base so I offered them some money for their help and they refused. They in turn, offered me a cold beer but that was not a good idea for reporting on base at 7:00 am. We then said our good-byes and drove off to whatever life had to offer us for the coming day. I had the damage repaired and painted at MAACO in Jacksonville and kept the car for several more years. Finally, I took my father’s advice and traded it in on a real car, a new Chevy Vega!