Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am writing this one for all of those people that think the drunk driving laws are too strict and for Marty.

Martin Luther Shuff the Third. What was my Aunt thinking? My cousin Marty short for Martin was one year younger than I and a very sweet soul. He would take so much razzing from us over this name as kids because it was the longest that we had heard of in our family. When I think of Marty I remember all the great times we had together over the holidays and summers. Marty always had the coolest race tracks to play with and high tech toys at the time. We would spend hours playing with robots, cars, and all the make believe stuff. Marty was an adventurer at heart and really enjoyed visiting us on the farm where his mind opened into a new world where he would become a different superhero or character everyday. He loved James Bond.

Let's see he was also accident prone. We were ice skating on the pond (of course where we weren't supposed to be) and he fell in. Not good! He cornered a mouse outside once and got bit in the finger. It was gross! He went canoeing with my sister and tipped the boat. Very wet! My Aunt used to always tell him to be careful! That was like telling a stone to roll over. We grew up very close and stayed in touch throughout the years. Marty grew up in the city and loved music and dirt bikes and excelled at both. One day in the car when he was about 16 he was singing the song Hotel California by the Eagles and I can still hear his voice like it was yesterday. It was great!

I will never forget that he came to visit us when my ninth grade dance was going on that weekend. He would be staying with us for the week. So I took him to the dance with me. Oh my God did I get razzed about that by my friends at school until they saw him. Then they all wanted dates with him. It was cute because he was very shy that he was out of his own element but started to loosen up when all the girls wanted to dance with him. We had a great time that night and didn't have to worry about impressing anyone, just having fun.

Marty later develop his own band and started to sing in clubs. He just had it all by the time he was 20. Good looks, a promising future, he was engaged, and was loving life. It was quite odd because at the time everyone seemed to be scattered across the states but yet we all bumped into each other in the time frame of three months. You know how you haven't seen someone for awhile but yet when you meet again you have that warm feeling like it was just yesterday that you were with that person. When we met for the last time it was in a club where his Mom worked and we were joking with each other about our childhood. He looked good, laughed alot and was happy. It was nice.

I was at Mom's when we got the call. Marty was in John's Hopkins on life support. He was brain dead. My Aunt wanted all of us to come to see him before she had him taken off of the life support.

Marty had been hit by a drunk driver not more than 5 blocks from where his mother was working. The driver had ran a red light and hit Marty's car going 50mph crushing the drivers side. Part of the car came through the window and severed his vocal cords and damaged his head. The driver had two previous DUI's and walked away with a broken arm. The irony of this is that my Aunt has been a tavern owner all her life serving booze. Her life changed forever when this happened. Marty was 21.


a corgi said...

Marty sounded wonderful; what a sad tragedy; what happened to the driver? did he get more serious jail time??

I'm all for tough DUI laws!! California has pretty tough laws for under-age drinkers; zero tolerance; if you have over 0.01 you lose your license for a year; adults 1st time lose their license for 4 months; second time a year and then on up

Montana had very loose laws; fines and a day or two jail time only when you got up past your fourth or fifth one

such a tragedy :(


Sheria said...

What a tragic loss, I am in favor of tough DUI laws. I think that without such laws, people don't take the issue of driving under the influence with any seriousness. Far too many people think of it as no big deal until someone dies. I am so sorry for your family's loss. Thank you for sharing your pain. Perhaps someone will read your words and think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.