In 1974, my dad was hit by a car on River Road in Rumson. It happened in front of the Rumson Pharmacy and What’s Your Beef?” It was early on a Monday morning.
He rallied back as the doctors prepared to pronounce him dead at Riverview. I was in school at Forrestdale, where they took me to the principal’s office. They told me the news and said my mom and sister were at the hospital. “Your dad has been in an accident, but he was ok” is what I remember being told. So they sent me back to class. I finished my day and afterward played in a school basketball game. Later, while walking home, Jimmy Scalzo, saw me and asked what I was doing on Black Point Road. He told me how badly my dad was hurt. He took me home, where I waited for hours until someone showed up to give me the news. Mom was a mess, and so was Karen, I was lost.
Dad survived and had a messed up back and neck for the rest of his life. We all felt some effects from the accident but none worse than Dad. Years of therapy would never provide any answers to what played out that day for any of us. That’s life. It doesn’t come with an instruction manual or a way to look back and find the things that made us the way we are. We had direct and collateral damage. I can say it didn’t help us.
He got $100k as a settlement (like $400k today), which the Red Bank Register put in an article titled “Farber Gets $100,000,” like we had won some kind of lottery. No dollar amount could pay for the collective pain and suffering my dad and family would have as a result of the accident. It was a defining event for our family.
The circus was about to begin, and we would each have our own ring with Mom as the ring mistress.