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A short story of friendship

June 4, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ray Meachum wrote the following letter on Aug. 19, 1968, following a hit-and-run accident in Wadesboro. He recently brought the letter by The Anson Record offices to share the story of the good friend who helped him in his time of need nearly 50 years ago.


This story begins on a very hot Saturday. The temperature was in the 90s or better. I had just finished painting my kitchen walls on this hot Saturday, Aug. 19, 1968.


It was about 7:30 p.m. when I decided to take a ride on my motorcycle in order to cool off a bit. Mike was helping me so I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride. We rode off toward town and rode around for a while and was having a good time. I had on my helmet, no shirt and long pants. Mike had on about the same except no shoes.


I remember talking to Mike as we rode out from Jake’s Freeze in the direction of Bowman’s. I changed the motorcycle gears in a slow manner and I remember not being in a hurry to change the gears as I would generally not do so. My speed was not more than 40 mph and I was in no hurry but I should have been.


The next thing I remember, I was seeing headlights coming down the road toward me and I thought to myself that this car was going to run me over and I thought to myself that this could not be, because I must be dreaming.


Then someone was standing over me and people was all around me. I asked someone where Mike was and if he was all right. Someone told me that Mike was some 30 feet down the road from where I had landed and that he was sitting up in the roadway on the pavement.


At this time, a good friend of mine came up to me and asked me if I was OK. I answered I think so except for the pain in my back and my shoulder. At that instant, this good friend took off his shirt and put it under me to help the burning. At this point, this friend asked me if there was anything he could do for me. I told him that my wife was out at the Hub restaurant, and asked if he could go out there and tell her what had happened. Later, my wife said that not only did he come out and tell her, but he drove my wife’s car to the hospital and had his wife pick him up at the hospital in their car.


This is the end of my short story, but I will never forget my friend, Son Barber.


Ray Meachum

Wadesboro