Several years ago, I visited our Nation’s Capitol. While there, I took a side trip to Alexandria, Virginia, to the George Washington National Masonic Memorial.
On the first floor of the Memorial is a replica of the Lodge Room as it would have been in Washington’s time.
Along the wall, sitting on a shelf unprotected, I saw a table clock. It was the clock that had been on General Washington’s bedstand. At the time of his death, one of the attending doctors had cut the cord and stopped the clock.
I was amazed that it was standing out in the open, unprotected.
At least, that’s how I remembered it…
A year or two later, I went back and found that my memory had been faulty – the clock was safely behind a locked glass panel.
On December 16, 2003, I was driving to work on a very cold, windy and icy day. I was traveling at 40-45 miles an hour, the fastest safe speed. I met a semi going the opposite direction, even slower than I was traveling. There were perhaps four cars bunched up behind him. I then saw a car traveling a lot faster, coming up behind the semi and the vehicles behind. I saw the approaching car as he was trying to slow down, on the centerline, heading for my left front fender. He regained control and got back in his lane. I watched in my rear view mirror as he tried to get to the shoulder to avoid the last car in line behind the slow moving semi. He failed. He struck the last car in the right rear, causing it to spin on the ice into the oncoming lane, where it was struck by another semi going the same direction I was traveling.
I saw the underside of the car, wheels and axels, as it was thrown perhaps 12 feet in the air.
At least, that’s how I remembered it …
When the sheriff’s investigator read my written summary of the accident, he came to see me and asked, “Are you sure it was a car? We found a pickup in the ditch.”
I have a very good memory, it’s just very short.
I include these stories for two purposes: One: that I need to take into consideration mistakes in observation and recollection when evaluating the testimony of witnesses who appear before me.
And two: you need to take into consideration that some of the facts I am recollecting may be in error. I have not intentionally misstated any of the facts in my stories, but please know, there very well may be mistakes contained in them.
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Next week: Certificate