By Dan Miller
May 11, 2007
I briefly witnessed a knife fight half a century ago.
I was no more than 11 or 12 years old, riding an Augusta city bus from near my home to downtown.
My plan was to spend the afternoon walking around downtown -- as I often did on Saturday -- looking at record albums at Davison's department store, and figuring a way to spend the quarter I had left (after bus fare) from my savings that week.
When the bus was about 5 or 6 blocks from where I'd be getting off, it stopped for a red light.
Out the window, to my right, a group of about 10 people had gathered on the corner sidewalk.... and right in the middle of the group were two men, slowly circling each other.
One had a knife.
It appeared to be a small pocket knife.
He would lunge occasionally at the other man as they circled.
Each had his arms spread in sort of a tackling stance.
Neither man was making contact with the other....
They'd just circle, with the occasional jabbing motion from the man with the knife.
I watched in horror.... fascinated by what I was seeing.
I can still feel that rush of adrenalin, or whatever it is that makes your heart pound when you witness such a thing.
Suddenly, the bus started moving....
We drove away....
For a few seconds I could still see the men circling as I craned to look out the window.
Then, they were completely out of sight.
I have no idea whether the knife man ever stuck the other man....
I have no idea whether they ever even made contact....
I have no idea how the fight ended....
I do know.... half a century later.... hardly a week goes by that I don't think about that bus ride.... and that fight.