For the second time in as many decades, an Audi sedan saved the Lipton family from a day-eternal.
Driving home from a family "girls-weekend" at the Weathervane Inn in South Egremont, Massachusetts, a frequent Lipton family destination at the time, a five-year old Buck Wheat and her mother were likely singing, playing Eye-Spy or THE license plate game.
Thirteen-years before a Panda became THE Buck.
Using nearly all of the 104.12 miles of New York's Taconic State Parkway, the trip home should have taken a little under two-hours.
Winding, narrow, hilly with blind turns and drops of over six-feet from the road surface to terra-firma below, "THE Taconic" as locals refer to it, is known for its treacherous nature.
At the time the Taconic State Parkway Commission recommended in 1925 that this road be built, future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the commission's chairman), would not have known that 91-years later THE Taconic would be called New York’s deadliest highway.
A statistic nearly enhanced by the addition of two Lipton’s.
On the wet surface, my wife at the time briefly lost control of her Audi A3. Leaving the road and down the sloped embankment to the earth below, the car spun two different “360’s!” Spinning both clockwise and then rolling over as it tumbled down the embankment.
Hours later when I met the EMT who transported Panda and her mother to the emergency room, he shared his view that he had, “Never pulled survivors out of a car so badly damaged.”
To this day, the only thing Buck remembers of the accident was telling her mother as they crawled out of the broken windows that she needed to “Go back in and get daddy’s tennis balls.”
What I remember was a car which had crumbled. In its successful effort to keep its occupants safe.
Hitting “accept” on an inbound call from my fiancée and heart’s desire Gaetana, I heard the crying before the words of my standard greeting, “Hey Baby!” made it passed my lips.
“I had an accident!” she cried.
Not having any luck getting her location through the tears, I opened the “Find My Friends” app.
Four minutes away!
The drive of course seemed longer.
While moving forward at over 30 MPH, Guy was "rear-ended" by a car the police estimate was moving as many as 70 MPH.
While the driver made a phone call!
Again, an Audi sacrificed itself for my precious cargo. Though its rear was badly damaged and the Toyota Matrix which hit it was destroyed, like 20-years earlier, my Love walked away with nothing to show for the experience but a bad memory.
From the back of an ambulance before her precautionary ride to Stamford Hospital, Guy told me that she had just been to the market and to get our food from the back seat of a car we were not likely to see again for a few weeks. Opening the back door of the four-door sedan I saw three bags of groceries. All upright and full, as the had been placed in the car just 15-minute earlier.
If the Audi could have spoken when I opened the back door it would have said, "I even kept your groceries safe!"
My love for German engineering is with cause.
Thankfully, the accident was not the week's only highlight.
A day after going live, another dealer of THE Revolution, Roosterspaint.com in Austin, Texas texted me with the great news on day-one of their site being "live":
Three down, three to go!
With just a few more pieces to be added to the sites of THE Revolution before calling them complete, I have been able to make time for other interests.
Recently, I recorded a podcast (and Vlog!) with the CEO of Diamond Vogel Paints, Jeff Powell. Though their name may be generally less familiar to independent paint retailers, the manufacturer of powder coatings, traffic paints, automotive finishes and Old Master's stains is the 13th largest paint manufacturer in North America.
But it's not the products Diamond Vogel which made me want to get Jeff on a mic.
When Diamond Vogel recently sold their western-most company-owned stores and agreed to make their branded paint available to the independent retailer they sold them to, it caught my attention. In addition to sale of over a dozen of their company-owned stores, Diamond Vogel recently contracted with The Coatings Alliance and C2 to be the exclusive manufacturer of their coatings.
When I asked directly about Diamond Vogel's plans to push into the independent channel Jeff shared that it was "on their radar."
A family-owned fourth-generation business who knows a thing or two about making paint?
I'm listening! And you should too!