I came upon the Edsel while hiking in Henry Horton State Park near Nashville, Tennessee. It was picturesque in its utter decay. Everything was absent – seats, doors, wheels, upholstery, steering wheel, mirrors, windows, and witnesses to the day it became a permanent fixture in the park.
I couldn’t help but imagine the scene: two lovers driving through the park late one night fighting over a flirtation at the bar, booze doing most of the talking, then a deer in the road, a quick turn, a rush through trees and brush, a squealing of brakes, screams as they both flew through the windshield. It would be days before the police found their bodies, determined the cause of death, and notified their families.
John Comstock, who worked in logistical issues for the police department, was responsible for organizing the car’s removal, but it wasn’t needed as evidence so, it was low priority.
John had an emergency appendectomy the next week that resulted in complications and early retirement. The car’s removal fell to the new guy who had more pressing matters on his desk – the robbery at First Federal Bank, the suspected arson at the Johnson farm, the stolen parrots from the Adopt-a-Pet Store in Kirkland, and so forth. Over the next many months and years, the car was forgotten about completely. Anything valuable was stripped by vandals and teenagers out on a lark.
It’s not a great story, but sometimes the ugly truth has to be told. The car is now just a monument to every bad decision ever made.