Reba G. is the wonderful human being who was first on the scene after Stan Oldak’s hit and run cycling accident last Sunday outside Columbus, TX. She wrote this moving letter to Stan’s son, Jason, who shared it with me. I hope neither minds that I share most of it with you:
I had hoped you were within earshot as I spoke to your mother. I also wanted to talk to you but did not really know what else to say.
I am not particularly old-fashioned but I wanted you to have a ‘real’ letter about that day. I want you and your family to hold the letter as you read it and not get it in an email. So, I have just come from the post office. I hope you will have it by Monday or Tuesday.
…The letter is to you, Emily, and anyone else in your family that you would like to share it with. It is not that it is particularly personal — or is it? I tried to just chronolog our ride. I have no pictures and don’t know of anyone who does.
Almost every waking moment has been taken with Stan Oldak since that very moment. I have been praying for you, thinking of you, crying for Stan, crying for you and Emily and other family members, or working to get something done to draw attention to the fact that somewhere there a person driving freely on the roads that should not be doing so. (Many of my friends will be riding on those same roads again this weekend.) I have had some very talented people who are “in the know” who have taken this up as a mission with a passion that I have never witnessed in my life. Those 2 women are Marcia Becker (owner of ACME bike shop in Katy, TX) and Loretta Crosby (the team captain for the MS 150 Team ACME). Of course, they are doing this for cycling, but, honestly, Jason, they are doing this, I suppose, because they love me and just care about people. I am overwhelmed by their kindness. I would never have known to do all the things and contact the people that they have done. Mayor, city councilmen, Chief of Police, TX DOT, motorcycle escorts, about 25 media outlets, someone else to make something special (can’t say what yet), local people who know people, who know people, who know people. We are looking into your request for video. There will definitely be pictures. We are not professionals.
Today I drove about 60 miles from here to eat lunch with Mark (the other gentleman) that rode with Stan and I. He told me his neighbor was going to come also. It turns out this man was the owner of 3 local newspapers and was VERY interested that this story have more coverage. Of course, he knows ALL the newspapers around and before I could get home he had emailed, made phone calls, and numerous contacts, and poor little Columbus, TX was being bombarded with calls. This was the breakthrough we needed from everyone on a Friday afternoon.
Mark and I shared about the ride and cried. Of course, we have the same questions you do. What if? Why? If only we had done this or that 5 seconds sooner or 5 seconds later. How? Our hearts are broken.
Jason, if there is a CD or Video of the funeral I would love to have it if that could be arranged.
Your are in my thoughts and prayers.
Let me know when you receive the letter. I hope it is a blessing to you and your family.
I send all the love I can to you and your family.
Thanks to all who are keeping Stan’s memory and legacy to us all alive. Jeff Terosky of the New York Cycling Club, Reba and her Texas friends are uniting via long distance to create fliers that will be posted prominently throughout the Columbus region asking people to come forward if they know anything about the accident. I’ll be posting it here as soon as they’re ready. Jeff also plans to follow up with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Bless them all.