Mobility My Way: Through the Years, Across the Miles

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Through the Years, Across the Miles
Disabled veteran John Bollinger recalls his more than five decades behind the wheel.

By Mike Savicki

This story begins in the days of the Ford Torino, Chrysler Newport, Chevy Citation, Chevy Celebrity, Buick LeSabre, and Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Remember those cars? Driving one of those beasts was like cruising down the road as if your living room was on wheels.

Actually, this story begins even earlier than that. Let’s turn back the clock way back to the 1960’s. Meet John Bollinger, a young Navy Ensign. After growing up in Pittsburgh and graduating from Muskingum University, John received his officer commission in June 1969 and began serving in the US Navy aboard LST 1163, USS Waldo County, in Panama. His main job was to keep track of Russian submarines in the Caribbean.

He says it wasn’t a bad gig for a young officer.

A short six months later, a spinal cord injury sustained in a diving accident changed everything. John became a C6,7 quadriplegic. He returned to the States, was discharged from the Navy, sold his 1963 Austin Healy 3000, and went to work for the [...]

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