The Old Man of Alamo Street (Simi Valley, California)
Back when I was about 10 years old, in 1973, my parents were taking me and my younger brother for a drive somewhere. At that time many of our roads were still two-lanes only and unpaved and we still had a lot of agriculture going on in the area. Alamo Street is one of those areas that was still pretty rural at that time, with a number of small ranches on the south side of the road.
My dad turned off of Tapo Street and headed east on Alamo Street. Just as we were approaching the area where the Alpha Beta grocery store was located across the street from the ranches a very tall and gaunt looking old man walked right in front of our car, heading north across the road, away from the ranches. The two things that have stuck in my memory the most to this day was the sound of the “thud” as our car hit him, and just before impact the way he looked right at us with the most evil, scary look in his eyes. His image is so clear to me that I can remember even seeing the grayish whiskers on his face and the way his hair was combed. His clothing was typical for farmers of the late 1920’s to the 1930’s.
The entire family felt the “thud” and my dad slammed on the brakes, stopped the car, and we all jumped out. We expected to see the old man lying in the road in front of us, but he wasn’t there! We looked under the car. Nothing. We looked at the side of the road in both directions. Nothing! He was NOWHERE, not even walking away! Dad knocked on the door of one of the ranch houses, described what happened, and the home owners phoned the police. In the meantime other people started to come out of their houses to help us look. We looked in every yard, tree and shrub along the road for a good ¼ mile. When the police officer arrived he also looked everywhere. He also checked our car but could see no evidence that anyone had been struck. People checked in the grocery store and the liquor store. Still no sighting of the old man. Everyone finally called it quits and the officer determined that we must have hit something else and imagined the old man!
To this day I can truthfully swear that my entire family saw this old man and felt the impact of hitting him. I still feel uncomfortable driving on that one small section of Alamo Street, and when I was a teenager we actually moved to the houses a little further up in that neighborhood. When walking alone on that section of Alamo Street I avoided walking along the sidewalk and instead would cut through the grocery store parking lot. ~ Cindy Ackley Nunn