I’d like to make some comments on a story that appeared in the 50 Years Ago column in the Wednesday, June 24, issue. It’s about the truck driver whose name never was in the paper at all.
I’m not a writer, but would like to say it hurt me and my children because their dad was a hero to us. He knew his truck was on fire but the man was great.
He tried to get that truck out of the main business places, and the people running and screaming at him to stop were foolish; it made it much harder for him. He was taking chances on his life to save everyone else.
He said his life was in God’s hands. He was trying to get to a place where there were no buildings or people or very few. He drove trucks for 19 years and never got a ticket and put his life on the line to save others.
He knew what he was doing, but the people were distracting him. Had that flame gotten to that tank, it would have been a big explosion and a lot of people would have been hurt or killed, including himself. He did not want any praise or anything, but he always felt like people thought he was just an old truck driver who didn’t know what he was doing. He earned several pins for his good driving record and he knew what to do in a tight position.
I know who that man was and when he got home that night, he was a nervous wreck knowing what could have happened. This is all I will say for now because it was hard on our children. He died of cancer two years later. I know who the man was; he was my husband. His name was Elmer Lee “Pete” Nolen of Pettus.
This is just a touch of the whole story and it was the second time something like this happened. He had to make a bad or good decision on what to do. (He was only 35 when he died.)
I hope no one else has to go through what he did. Thanks for men like him. He was a hero!
Mrs. J.W. Brundrett