Day 1 – Issue #1

Friday, May 8th, 1992 started like most days.  It was a work day, one that would, thankfully, take me out of the office.  I loved to get out of the office and today, I was scheduled to do a “live remote,” which meant I had completed the programming and employee training, and I was ready to install the program onsite at the Purple Parrot, a new restaurant which was located on the south end of Marco Island, FL.  All they would need to get started was four hours of “live support” from me, “the Programmer.”

I arrived a little early, traffic was light.  Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, I decided to pop into the flower shop down at the end of the mall and order my mother some flowers.  I knew that would make her smile.

The evening went well, and everyone seemed pretty happy.  There was a good flow from the restaurant and bar as well as into the kitchen.  The only thing left was to run the reports at closing time, which was finally here.  All the employees had clocked out and the manager and I were ready to begin the reports.  We celebrated a successful evening with a cocktail.  But wait – what language is this report running in?  It all looks like Greek letters and crazy wing-ding symbols.

My shift was not going to end at 10 pm.  I reloaded the software, but still the same result.  I would have to go back to the office, reload new program disks and come back tomorrow and try this again.  The meeting with the owner took about an hour, where I explained the glitch.  He offered to let me stay at his house and then drive back in the morning, since I was going on a 16-hour day by now.  I decided against it and wanted to get back to Fort Myers.

By the time I began my drive, it was getting close to 1 am.  I pulled onto northbound I-75.  After about 10 minutes, I could really feel the long day come crashing in and decided to pull off the highway and walk around for a couple of minutes. I pulled into a convenience gas station and got a soda.  I decided not to get back on I-75 and take US 41 the rest of the way.  The soda and walk helped.

I continued northbound on US 41, as I checked my rearview mirror, I noticed there were no cars behind me.  As I looked back to the windshield, I saw two headlights ahead of me and then suddenly, there was the horrible screeching sound of metal colliding with metal and breaking glass, and then I felt like I had suddenly been repelled backwards and glided slowly to a stop.

There was almost a deafening, dark silence and ringing in my ears all at the same time.  I couldn’t move and sat silently, dazed for what seemed liked hours, thought it could have only been a few minutes.

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