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You can take this story with a grain of salt, or not.  All I can tell you is that it's true.

My stepfather threw me out of the house between my freshman and sophomore years at Big State U.  It had something to do with Stewart Alsop dying - he had a hard time dealing with people who had feelings for anyone but him.  Screaming tantrum, gun waving, my mom grabbed the dog and flew out of the house, and I went upstairs and started to pack.

My aunt & uncle had a spare room way out in Claymont.  My summer job was in downtown Wilmington.  I had no car.  It was fast food place; buses didn't run on Sunday.  What a summer.

So.  I used to wander a half mile or so down towards the Delaware River.  I495 was being built; it was a broad flat concrete strip, no rails, no drains.  I would sit under a tree, drink lemonade, and read a book.

One day walking back up to the apartment I met two boys, about 11.  Nice kids.  They were bursting with pride because they had just finished a motor scooter out of junk, and they wanted to know if I wanted to ride it (no).  One of them took off, very fast and noisy, and I said "Lovely!" and left.

A couple of weeks later there was a story in the paper.  Two boys, a scooter, on I495, the chain broke and nearly decapitated one of them.  He was dead on the scene.  

I've never driven down that road unless I had to.  I get cold chills.  There have been so many terrible accidents on it in the years since, so many people killed.  If I believed in curses, I'd say that bridge is cursed.

For the time being, if you have to drive up or down the east coast, avoid Delaware.  Essentially six lanes of interstate traffic are  being squeezed into two through Wilmington.  Figure out another way.  


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