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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Late night wake up calls may have helped you

It was with great interest I read your viewpoint, “Hiding cell phone accident-data probably cost lives.” In addition, I do agree with many aspects of the dangerous elements regarding driver’s poor decisions, when it comes to driving in busy traffic, while trying to talk on cell phones.

Yet, I would also like to point out that during the course of my seven-plus years as your Circulation Manager; each dedicated driver, including several with extensive military and / or law enforcement backgrounds, who ever headed down to your Burley Reminder printing press, all admitted at some point; to having a hard struggle staying awake at the wheel.

As we realized this problem, I would sometimes call the drivers, as they were enroute back to the valley with fresh papers, on their long lonesome haul. We would do our best to strike up stimulating conversations, and to see if any new problems had cropped up during the night.

Some were thankful for this protocol and I would encourage any of your current and future managers to follow the same procedure.

In addition, it will be refreshing to read the Express, not suppressing this cell-phone safety-counterpoint.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gene's, early 60's rock-hauling truck 'Merlin'

Triple Breakdown Synchronicity

Back in cold February, I was chugging up Highway 75; when suddenly right before Ohio Gulch, the rig started behaving badly. Turns out it was the transmission, and even though a mechanic-friend had recently gone over it with a fine-toothed comb, it was shot.

That cost some big bucks; and then, only a few weeks later, the truck started misbehaving again, at that exact same spot. As locals know, Ohio Gulch is the turnoff for the dump transfer, and just north is where the State sometimes sets up weigh stations. It’s also essentially the last good place to pull over safely; if you’re heading north with a big rig in the area, and it breaks down.

The second breakdown was caused by a fuel pump problem. I thought it was strange and yet a little fortunate that the truck decided to break down at the same safe pullover spot twice. Then I remembered; fifteen years ago, I was driving a rig full of rocks for a stonemason, and that truck broke down at the same spot. I had loaded Gene’s truck to the brim, with four and ¼ tons of river rock. As we approached Ohio Gulch, his truck started thumping loudly from the right rear. I pulled over and soon saw that the wheel had actually rolled out from its base, while the lug nuts whizzed off like bullets into the wild-west sage. Although the tire and rim had shot off, it had miraculously wedged into a corner of the truck, keeping the masonry rocks from spilling out.

As I hitchhiked to the East Fork jobsite, passing over Greenhorn Bridge, I became thankful that the truck had not decided to shuck off its rocks, back to the river there. I wasn’t looking for that type of legend on my resume.

And while we did laugh later, Gene told me, when he saw me walking the last leg of Hyndman, two hours late and with no truck, he thought, “This can’t be good.”


It’s funny; every time I drive past that Hyndman Creek house with a friend and see those river rocks shining so intact, I feel compelled to pull over, point at the stones and tell this story.

And it makes me curious to hear about other people’s experiences of breaking down at same spots.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Early Morning Rain - Peter, Paul and Mary

Raindrop connection

One recent morning, while assembling some furniture with a colleague, I inserted an old unmarked music tape for background accompaniment. As we found Gordon Lightfoot crooning at us from the truck tailgate, I noticed a slight shift in the atmosphere. Looking up, I spied a thousand feet above, some; red, white and blue cloud wisps, leading a darker storm front. I felt a certain freedom, gazing skyward, and it crossed my mind that doing so is a special privilege, reserved for fools, children and shaman.

Suddenly in the midst of our busy workstation, a singular raindrop landed right between us, while Gordon sang a stanza from Early Morning Rain. The raindrop actually flew past the tape deck, precisely as it played the ‘rain’ refrain. Excitedly, I pointed out how this was a synchronicity, but my workmate’s reaction was mute. This saddened me slightly, and shortly, I tried to diagram the special coincidence. However, it was clear that she was not interested in hearing me babble on about raindrop synchronicities or signal graces.

Later on, I thought that maybe she was right; it was not a synchronicity at all, but rather was a teardrop from a cherub leading the storm front, sad by her blindness to synchronicity. It could be though, that my friend secretly believes in synchronicity. For some folks it’s easier to ‘jump a jet plane’ than it is to scratch beneath the surface of their personal beliefs.

~

Lyrics for Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain:

In the early morning rain
With a dollar in my hand
With an achin in my heart
And my pockets full of sand
Im a long way from home
And I miss my loved ones so
In the early morning rain
With no place to go
Out on runway number nine
Big seven-o-seven set to go
But Im stuck here in the grass
Where the cold wind blows
Now the liquor tasted good
And the women all were fast
Well there she goes my friend
Well shes rollin down at last

Hear the mighty engines roar
See the silver bird

on high
Shes away and westward bound
Far above the clouds shell fly
Where the mornin rain dont fall
And the sun always shines
Shell be flyin oer my home
In about three hours time

This old airports got me down
Its no earthly good to me
cause Im stuck here on the ground
As cold and drunk as I can be
You cant jump a jet plane
Like you can a freight train
So Id best be on my way
In the early morning rain
You cant jump a jet plane
Like you can a freight train
So Id best be on my way
In the early morning rain

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Great letter by Ed Jameson in today's Idaho Statesman

MICHAEL JACKSON

King of Pop 'raised the bar of genius'

The "Candle in the Wind" characterizes the limited lifespan of every genius of any genre who has given much more than they took with them. They all shared the lopsidedness of normalness/eccentricity that their "gift" carries with it. They never know, from minute to minute, when they're inadvertently stepping into the "normal" world from the world that makes them the genius. Revealing themselves to average people opens them up to criticism and questions of their basic sanity. In all cases, history and the growth of society is an accumulation and compilation of the productive minds of these people, good or bad.

Without art and the genius required to create it, the world would offer mankind only a place to reproduce and work. It is art, in all forms that it takes, that gives humanity the essence of what the enjoyment of life is. It is the ancient art on the caves of early man that defines them and their world. And it is the evolution of Michael Jackson's contribution to his art form that raised the bar of genius to what it is today.

ED JAMESON, New Meadows

(letter one)

http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/story/821088.html