Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 -#Driving – Confession of a Cone Head by Marian Longenecker Beaman

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post from author Marian Longenecker Beaman who shares here encounter of the bendy kind…. when driving.

Confession of a Cone Head by Marian Longenecker Beaman

Getty Images

The Damage

Mouth agape, wide-eyed and stunned at the WaWa station – I beheld a tee-shirted man holding a frosty drink and belly laughing at me. In the bay just ahead, this guy observed what I failed to see: two traffic cones smashed under my two wheels. Not one, but two—smashed flat!

Seconds earlier I had felt a ripple on my driver’s side tire but my car moved ahead, haltingly. Yes, I had detected some resistance but thought it may have been the metal caps of an underground well for holding gas. No, Sireee!

Then I heard a disembodied voice over the service station intercom announcing for all to hear, “Ma’am, you’ve just run over the traffic cones. This pump is out of order. Move ahead to the next one.”

The Resurrection

The Frostee-drinking guy took his sweet time to mount his truck, pull on his seat belt and move ahead, but when I cleared the out-of-order pump and moved on to where he had been gassing up, I turned back to see one of the lurid orange cones re-inflate halfway, the other still flat. As I pushed the nozzle into my gas tank though, both smashed orange cones stood straight up. That blessed image caught my full attention.

I could safely remove my dunce cap.

The Cause?

I had just come from a riotous lunch with friends at J Alexander’s. No alcohol, just endorphins from laughter with friends, I imagine now.

How could this have happened? Spotting the station, I had approached what looked like an available pump, maneuvering my steering wheel hard left, a tight hook to line up to the screen and nozzles of the gas pump I was aiming for.

No out-of-order sign appeared in my line of vision. No obvious orange cones either, a giveaway for an out-of-service pump. Maybe my crossover, a high-off-the-ground vehicle, obstructed my view.

Still, why oh why did I do such a dumb thing?

I guess I forgot to take my Smart Pill!

Gratitude: Ultra-flexible traffic cones!

A Cone Story from Southlake, Texas

            Read about citizens’ sympathy for a battered and bruised cone pictured here:

Remember this movie? 

It’s your turn to tell your “accidental” story. Readers probably hope embarrassment is part of the tale. I know I do!

©Marian Beaman 2019

Marian’s memoir

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl is a wonderful and engaging read. I learned a great deal about the Mennonite way of life: the culture, the dress, the history, and the occasional conflict as Marian Beaman experienced it and so beautifully shares it. I especially enjoyed Marian’s honest description of her home life, including her clashes with her father. It’s brave to put that out there for the world to see; good for you, Marian!

Marian’s clear writing style brought to life her immediate family, her relatives, the Mennonite culture, the mouth- watering food, and the hard work that kept her family fed, clothed, and healthy. This was a life so very different from mine; I found myself envying parts of it while wondering how these folks still exist in our modern world. It’s amazing!

As I read the book, I came to admire Marian so very much; she was strong enough to stand up for herself in her home, in the Mennonite culture, and, eventually, in the outside world. The photographs and illustrations are lovely, and I will be using the recipes for special occasions.

Read this unique book, and enjoy your visit to a thought-provoking culture in a world that is close-by, but still far away.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – 

And : Amazon UK –

Follow Marian : Goodreads

About Marian Longenecker Beaman

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

Connect to Marian

Blog: Marian Beaman.
Facebook: Marian Beaman
LinkedIn: Marian Beaman

My thanks to Marian for sharing her misadventure… I know she would love your feedback and we would all enjoy hearing about your motoring mishaps… thanks Sally.

24 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 -#Driving – Confession of a Cone Head by Marian Longenecker Beaman

  1. The cone I ran over did not re-inflate and it got well and truly stuck under my car. Reversing only made the problem worse. In the end I had to lie down in front of cars whizzing by and stretch full length to get hold of it and pull it on – completely demolished.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s always better to throw yourself upon the mercy of the court, Marian. (In this case, the rest of us who have had our share of driving mishaps.)

    I’ll confess to one of my own. When I was taking my driver’s exam, forty-five years ago, I began with the most inauspicious start ever. My mom had parked our old Chevy Impala while I walked into the DMV to notify a worker that I was here. The agent came out with me to the car, I smiled as I put on my seat belt while reminding her to do the same, and started the vehicle up. After all of my driving practice, I was sure that passing my driver’s test was a mere formality.

    I hit the accelerator, and nothing happened. What?? I deduced that the parking brake must still be set and checked that. No, that was not the problem. I was confused, but I wanted my tester to think she was in capable hands. I gave the accelerator a little more gas and promptly rolled over the six-inch cement barrier that I was unaware of. I looked at her in anguish, realizing my mistake. Now what? She stared at me in disbelief, wondering if she was about to risk her life with my inept driving. Since the cement was now between the front and back tires, there was no other choice but to back over it again. Even though I was sure I had just failed the entire test, she advised me to proceed. Perhaps it was just sympathy, but at the end of the exam, she said that I passed. How is that for the worst start to a driving career?

    Liked by 3 people

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