at the Gardner-Webb game early last season
As many of you have read yesterday’s entry have found out, Jason Ray, the 21-year-old senior who dressed as our mascot Rameses, passed away after being hit by a car near the team’s hotel in New Jersey. He was walking along a busy road at night en route to a convenience store nearby, something Sean, Michelle and I had done countless times while surviving my mom’s divorce in and around Morristown, NJ, staying at crappy hotels while producing various music books for kids.
Inevitably, you get hungry at midnight, the hotel’s candy machine only has Funyuns and Certs left, and since this country could give a fuck about walking anywhere, you find yourself traversing a sludge-filled moat and balancing on the curb of a state route in the middle of the night. I feel like I was there, I knew what that last errand was exactly like.
Suffice to say this: this country was made for cars. Getting out of one, in any kind of road environment, is an exercise in crappy odds. If you get a flat tire, ride that goddamn rim to safety, and get your car as far from the side of the road as possible. I won’t allow a tire to be changed within fifty feet of a highway, because someone, right now, is going 72 mph and reaching for a french fry caught between the cushions of the back seat, and he is damn well going to swerve onto the shoulder.
I’d like to use this entry for two purposes: one to offer our condolences to the Ray family, as we can’t possibly fathom the depth of their loss. Jason was an organ donor, and apparently up to fifty patients may be saved thanks to him. I’d encourage all of you to make sure you have the same provision on your license or in your will.
The second purpose is this: what lifesaving tip do you have for the rest of us? It can be anything mundane, or obvious, or long-term, or whatever. If you’ve heard of any situation where someone died needlessly, or read a statistic that shocked you, leave a comment about one thing we can do to try and nudge the odds a little more in our favor.