I AM MR. PIERCE
What you are about to read is the profile of a hit-and-run. No morals. No conclusions. Just the facts.
Back in 1953, a prominent attorney named Frank Pierce was driving home from a friend's house. It was late at night, but road conditions were normal.
At a downtown intersection a senior citizen, Mrs Nathan Lewis, was crossing the street. She did not see Frank earing down upon her, nor presumably did he see the aged woman in the middle of the road.
Within moments, Mrs. Lewis was hit, sprawled to the ground.
A nearby patrolman, Officer Stanley Edelin, who had witnessed everything from a side street, took out after Frank and pulled him over.
No inebriation tests were administered, and Frank told Officer Edelin he had not intended to leave the scene of the accident.
By some miracle, Mrs. Lewis escaped with minor cuts and bruises. She would be all right. Frank was taken to headquarters. Reckless driving. Possible hit-and-run. According to the police blotter, Frank's only words during the interrogation were, "I am Mr. Pierce."
A needless accident. An almost tragedy.
In relating the events leading up to Frank's hit-and-run, I'm not attempting to excuse him but to explain him.
In the months preceding, there was already trouble at home. The forty-eight-year-old lawyer was in the process of relocating his practice, moving south. His wife, a fragile, nervous woman, had begun to panic at the thought of abandoning the cooler climate, which she preferred.
A basically jovial, even-tempered man, Frank was a stunning contrast to his wife. Jane was a devoutly religious woman who, during their nineteen years of marriage, regarded her husband's increasing success with skepticism. Every time Frank had a drink, Jane cringed. Frank drank more.
Around that period of transition when Frank was changing jobs, he took Jane and their only son, aged nine, on a train from Boston to Concord, New Hampshire. On that journey, the train derailed and crashed. Both parents were unhurt. Their nine-year-old son....crushed to death.
Suffering greatly at the loss, Jane became chronically ill, took to her bed. Superficially, she resigned herself to the tragedy's having been God's will, while surreptitiously relating it to the abandonment of Frank's first practice. It was at that time that Frank, adopted the habit of driving around late at night to relax, to think. Perhaps...to drink.
Although there is no hard evidence that Frank was either intoxicated or sullen the night he left a friend's house on the southeastern side of the city and ran an old woman down in the middle of the street, it is at least possible. Perhaps probable.
And if there are any axioms that might be attached to this story, they're old ones: If you're unhappy, don't spread it. If you drink, don't drive, etc.
Frank was lucky. The woman he hit was not seriously hurt. All charges were dropped.
Oh, did I mention that Frank was driving...a one-horse buggy...in 1853?
If he got off light, it was perhaps his father was a former state governor.
Or perhaps because he...Frank Pierce...Franklin Pierce...was then President of the United States!
Check out Matthew 7:1!!!
For His Cause,