Category Archives: accident

Segues

My sister Marcia informed sister Leslie and me last week that our mom’s been at the doctor’s office, addressing some of her health issues, such as weight loss and pains, which could be for lack of eating and NOT DRINKING WATER. Perhaps she’ll start taking those Boost-type drinks.

Yesterday, my mom was at the doctor’s office for several hours, getting an IV for her dehydration. Marcia was driving mom home when she tried to avoid something on the road, left from some road construction, and hit something else. This briefly propelled the car into the air. The landing initiated the deployment of the airbags, which forced my mother’s glasses into her face, cutting her, which made her scream, which unnerved Marcia.

Bottom line is that my mom went to the hospital to get checked out for a few hours, but did end up returning home. The vehicle, on the other hand, was towed and is probably totaled. Marcia notes it could have been worse.

and speaking of lack of water

Our office, indeed a bunch of offices, got e-mail notices recently that state contracts could no longer pay for water. Now, we’re not a state agency. Nevertheless, our water dispenser was carted off yesterday. When I saw someone wheeling one machine, I knew ours would be next, and alerted everyone to get as much water as possible.

Odd thing is that we still have three bottles of water, but no real way to consume them. I used to have messages pop up on my computer to get a glass of water four times a day; I have to shut those down, and find a new way to stay hydrated.

and speaking of my office

We have been in our present building for 4.4 years. Never have I seen so many ladybugs on the walls and windows outside our office as I did yesterday after none noticed a couple days earlier. THOUSANDS of them, yet very few around the rest of the building. What is going on?

and speaking of checking thing out

I ordered checks by phone for the first time in over a year and a half. $32 for 150 checks? Don’t know what they were before, but it wasn’t NEAR that much! It’ll prompt me to do more online transactions, though most of my bills are autopay already.

and speaking of the unexpected

I was riding my bike downtown a couple days ago when I saw a woman riding a Segway down Western avenue in Albany. I had actually never seen one up close before, only on television. We happened to catch the same red light, and I engaged the young woman who rides it in conversation.

Seems that she won the machine in June in a drawing, a total fluke. Now she rides it to work twice a week, rides her bicycle twice a week, and drives the car once a week.

I checked the Segway site, based in New Zealand, and found five dealers in the state of New York, on Long Island, Queens, western New York, Poughkeepsie (mid-Hudson) and Coeymans (around Albany).

A bus driver said that one will see the Segway more often because they were once not legal to ride on the streets but now are, traveling in the same stream of traffic as the bicycles. I didn’t independently verify that, but it seems right.
ROG

Last Run

As I’ve probably alluded to, my wife Carol has been away at college for a couple weeks. Last summer, she did two intense weeks of intensive study, and she had to read a half dozen books and write a half dozen papers before she even got there. Then this past school year, she had a 600-hour internship. Now she’s back at college for another two-week stint, after the preparatory reading and writing.

This has meant that I have been calling her every morning between 6:30 and 6:45, her only free time, just before breakfast. I was about to call her one day last week when I see an e-mail from her, titled: “Sleeping late Wed 7/29”

“I am turning off my alarm clock to sleep in in the morning because I am just getting back to my room now. If you get this message, don’t call me in the morning. I’ll call you later to catch up during the day at work and then again in the evening so I can talk to Lydia.”

My wife is an early riser, so this was quite curious.

“There was a bus accident tonight when MCLA was returning from Tanglewood. I was not on the bus that ran off the road and am OK, but tired. I was on the bus that was following the one that ran off the road headlong into a ditch so we were right there. It looks as though the driver of that bus had a seizure and lost control of his bus. Two coaches got off our bus, opened the back emergency door, and tried to give the unconscious driver CPR and then the AED but got no response, and the driver was pronounced dead. I helped the rest of the adults climb out of the back of the bus. Five were taken to the hospital for minor (as far as we know now) injuries.

“MCLA classes are canceled for Wed. morning and will probably resume after lunch. They are getting counselors to talk to us if needed.”

It turned out that the bus driver had a heart attack. The 70-year-old man had just come back to work after bypass surgery. Carol could hear her bus driver talk to this guy, and he indicated that this particular drive would be his “last run” for the night. Ironically accurate.

Carol and I agreed that it would probably be better not to mention the bus accident to Lydia, since it might make her worry about her mother and/or worry about taking the bus on the field trip that very day.

I never did talk to Carol on Wednesday, but I did on Thursday and subsequently; she is fine.

One curiosity about the media coverage is that the Times Union, the local paper, had a reported a school bus accidents in Pittsfield involving five students. Since it didn’t mention the school, it gave the impression that the students were of the K-12 variety, rather than graduate students. ROG

No Forwarding Address

Sometime last year, we started getting mail for a Hrishikesh Samant at our home. We have been at this address for nine years and the people who lived here before were not so named either. I thought it would be an easy matter to Google the name and perhaps trying to contact him. No such luck; there seems to be at least a geology and/or zoology professor in Mumbai, India and a GIS expert in the US. Here’s a video of one of them. Or maybe it’s all the same guy. But it doesn’t explain while mail, including utility bills, cable bills, and items of the sort started arriving at our door in that name.

So I decided that perhaps I should contact the authorities to see if someone was trying to perpetrate some fraud in Mr. Samant’s seemingly good name(s). I contacted the postal authorities. They told me to just return to sender. After three or four months, the mailings have seemed to stop.

Now we are getting mail for Gwen Powell. It’s all what we would consider junk mail. Moreover, we at least have a theory about how we came to get “Gwen’s mail”. My wife’s given surname, her “maiden name” if you will, is Powell. A C and a G have similar structures; the line of the G plus ar could be construed as a w, I suppose. In cursive, o and e both have loops. I need to contact these vendors to get “Gwen” off their mailing list.
***
There was a story this week in the local paper about an a 11-year-old boy who pedaled his bicycle into the path of a car and later died. Very sad story made worse by the fact that he waited 25 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. Someone on Twitter commented that the fact that the driver of the car wasn’t ticketed was tantamount to getting away with “murder”, and used that specific word.

Now few people complain more about how irresponsible car drivers are vis a vis bicyclists than I do. I got a broken rib about 50 weeks ago from trying to avoid a car running through a traffic light. But the facts in the case – the boy’s bike hit the passenger-side door – suggests that the boy either didn’t see the car, had his brakes fail or some other circumstance. In any case, the driver, who will undoubtedly be traumatized for a long time, doesn;’t need apparently unfounded claims of murder bandied about.

ROG

A few days in the life

Apparently, there are actually blogs that do nothing but note all the things that happen in people’s lives. I’ve been resistant to that, but I’m inclined to note the last few days in some detail. I suppose I could have made these many Twitter posts – and be mocked – but frankly have been too busy.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4
After racquetball, go to the dentist. He’d put a crown in last fall, but he was dissatisfied with the spacing between my teeth, where food would get caught, so he’s doing a redo gratis. It may be free, but it’s not free of discomfort. Also takes longer than planned and I miss my bus – another one doesn’t come for 2.5 hours, but my colleague picks me up.
End of the day, wife drops off daughter at my work to take home, so wife can go to meetings, one work-related, the other at church. Unfortunately, she can’t find the first meeting and the second one is canceled.

THURSDAY, MARCH 5
Father-Child Pancake Breakfast at daughter’s daycare. That was nice, but I had to break up a couple boys who were literally about to come to blows over toy dinosaurs. A friend of mine that I’ve only known since 1958, whose birthday is today, BTW, suggested over four years ago that it’s probably a good thing I had a daughter rather than a son. I didn’t understand at the time, but I think I do now.

FINALLY take items to the post office. This was something I was going to do on December 20, along with finishing the Christmas letter; the wife had edited what I had wrote. But I NEEDED just that one day, and when I ended up taking care of my sick child instead – and into the evening, because the wife had a meeting – not only did the window of opportunity go away, but so did a whole bunch of my holiday mojo. I was actually quite melancholy over it for weeks. I never did complete the letter – that weekend was impossibly full, and the presents, bought weeks before, never got sent. So, on this day, packages to my mother and sisters, plus some other items to Eddie, Tom the Mayor, Scott and a woman in Canada finally went out the door. (I STILL haven’t sent to Lefty Brown’s friend Anthony, because I don’t have his address.)

Take bus downtown. At my stop, Washington and Lark, is a fire truck, with an EMT truck pulling up. There’s a guy they need to defibrillate sitting outside the kiosk; it’s cold – could they not have done this in a vehicle? While this was going on, an ambulance and another fire truck stop a block away at Dove and Washington. What’s going on there?

My bus shows up, but not a half block on my journey, a car pulls out of its parking space and hits the bus I’m on. No one was hurt; in fact, I barely noticed. But the bus driver had to wait for the police and the CDTA supervisor. Fortunately,the bus company sent another vehicle less than 25 minutes later to finish the trek.

That evening, a first rehearsal with our new church choir director, Janet Davis, followed by a gathering at the home of the interim director, Chris, who lives in this quite historic house (once the home of the Albany Conservatory, and before that, a Presbyterian manse).

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

I heard that on the news that Albany High School will be delayed two hours because of the presence of Fred Phelps, who I mentioned here. This is actually something I’ve known for over a week ago but was told not to report, lest Freddy and the schemers be tipped off. So after I dropped off Lydia, I did what I suggested others not do – go to the high school. Across the street from the school there were the Westboro people well outnumbered by he counterdemonstrators. Most of the good guys were well behaved and spoke on their megaphones about Christian love.

Then people went in two different directions. Some, including me, went downtown to SUNY Central to rally where Phelps said he’d be on his website; evidently, he finally figured out that this WASN’T the campus and didn’t show. Still about 150 people (way more than the 50 the Times Union reported) made some noise and got lots of support from the passersby.

Meanwhile, the others went uptown at the not optimal (read: busily dangerous) Fuller Road and Washington Avenue, where the Phelps people ended up. That also went well, according to reports. Incidentally, there was ALSO a fairly large rally Thursday night in front of City Hall, where the mayor – who’s running for ere-election this year, unsurprisingly – showed up.

[We interrupt this blog to note End the Lies, a a new website showing some of the worst perpetrators of lies about GLBT people. Now back to the narrative.]

I had received a $50 gift certificate from the Downtown Business Improvement District in a drawing I barely remember entering for a place called Salon 109 at 109 State Street in Albany, so I opted to get a massage there. It was…WONDERFUL. Later, had lunch with my wife – this almost never happens – as we partook of an especially very good buffet of Indian food.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7 (yes, it was my birthday)

Very busy time in my house, with one person, John, fixing our oven that’s been out six days and our hall lights that had been out for over six months, someone else, Bonnie, cleaning the house, and lengthy conversations with both of my sisters and aforementioned old friend – HB, Sara Lee).

Played backgammon for an hour with the Hoffinator and a couple games of hearts with her and friend Orchid; I shot on the last hand to win the second game. Game playing – just what I wanted as a present. The Obama speeches book, the racquetball equipment and the Clapton 2004 DVD were just bonuses.

SUNDAY, MARCH 8

Church youth did Godspell Jr. It was excellent; surprisingly moving.
The weather is warming and I took Lydia to the playground for the first time this year. The ground is muddy, but the wood chip base around the slides is absorbent and not too bad.

That’s enough.

ROG

Roger (Finally) Answers Your Other Questions, Eddie

Answering Eddie, lest he slap me down:

You’ve done some writing about biking, including a really good post a while back with tips and such. As someone very new to biking, I had some additional queries I wanted to bounce off you. I started riding again last year, and currently ride just about every day, usually to work and back, if nothing else. I’ve started doing lots of my errands and running around on the bike as well. Anyway, I’ve had some questions related to things that come up when I ride. So, here goes:

1. Distance-wise, how much do you ride on an average day? What is the most you’ve ever ridden in one day? (Either all in one stretch or in smaller increments with stops in between?) When you ride a lot in one day, how tired are you the next day?

First, less since the child. Used to just go around town. Occasionally, a trek to the neighboring towns (Troy, Delmar, Colonie). I’d start in March or April and get really exhausted, but as I rode more and more, not so much a greater amount, but just the repetitions, it was easier in October/November. Of course, this has been bollocked by the accident. Doubt I ever went more than 20 miles in a day. Well, maybe in rural Jamestown when I was on country roads.

6. Does Carol ride too? Keith and I have a lot of fun riding together.

She did a few times. But she had this big, heavy bike that she hated. When my last bike died (or was stolen; I’ve had enough in each category, I don’t remember), I purloined hers, with her blessing. She keeps threatening to get another bike. Maybe when Lydia starts to ride.

2. Speed-wise, how fast do you go, on average? Do you feel pressured to try and go faster than you are able to or than you feel is safe when you are riding in traffic?

Again, much slower on her old bike than my previous vehicles. I used to go on Albany’s bike path and pass about four times the number of bikers that passed me; now the numbers are reversed. No, I don’t feel pressured. That’s the kind of thinking that would just lead me to road rage. And you know what Bruce Banner says about anger.

3. How do you deal with nerves when you’re riding in traffic? Do you ride on streets that are typically very busy? Do you try to plan routes around heavy traffic areas?

I avoid crossing highway entrances (Everett Road in Albany), though I have walked through there with the bike occasionally. I don’t feel nervous unless I don’t have a helmet for some reason. Generally, I look for roads with shoulders. From experience, drivers are more aggressive on four-lane roads than two, so, unless they have shoulders, I tend to avoid the latter when possible. (Heading to my house, Western Avenue is generally safer than Washington, for that very reason.) I’ve been know to zigzag through residential neighborhoods, which tend to be saner.

4. Do you look at weenies like me, who will ride on some streets but not the ones that are really busy, with contempt?

Well, I never could think ill of you, Eddie, but no. The southern end of Lark Street in Albany is narrow, yet has parking on both sides; I work hard to avoid it.

5. I have a hard time keeping a steady course when I have to look over my shoulder to check traffic and sometimes when I signal turns. It’s gotten better the more I ride, but do you have any advice? I’m afraid of drifting into a parked car or into the other lane on narrow streets due to this.

Unless you buy a mirror, which I have never used, you may have to stop pedaling when you look. I seem to have pretty good peripheral vision, so I’m usually only looking at about 20 degrees off center. Someone told me you can “train” your peripheral vision, but I’ve never done it. You may need to practice this, but I lean ever so slightly to the right when I put out my left hand.

7. Why is it on windy days, that no matter which way I turn, I’m always riding directly into the wind?

God has a sense of humor. At least I think She does.

ROG

Roger Answers Your Question, Roger and Anthony


Roger from Albany wonders: So how are you feeling now after your accident?

The problem is that I’m healing, feeling better, so that inevitably I overdo. Friday, for instance, I was carrying a bag in my right arm that I guess was too heavy, for my left side, where I broke my rib four weeks ago tomorrow, ended up in pain not unlike what I experienced two weeks ago. Still, I am healing, and I actually lifted my left arm almost straight up. I can’t run, but i can trot, which I couldn’t do the week before . The only thing that gives me really tremendous pain is sneezing. (Yes, i do talk to myself; ask my wife.) Oh and the picture was stolen from ADD, but then again, he stole my whole post, just as he promised.

Anthony asks: If it is not too late, I would like to ask a question, of a mildly philosophical and yet somewhat personal nature.

What do you think is the most critical quality or characteristic for a politician (make that statesman) to have in order to effectively govern, and why do think this?

First off, you assume that someone CAN effectively govern. Let’s posit that that is possible.

Second, you assume it’s not too late. After listening to a half dozen podcasts by James Howard Kunstler (curse you, ADD), I wonder. (On he other hand, ADD did have his own quasi-theological treatise.

Third, let me touch on a trait that are NOT necessary: be the kind of person with whom I can have a beer. Besides the fact that I don’t much like beer, I’ve thought it was a bizarre criterion for picking leaders.

I suppose the chief characteristic I’m looking for in a politician is integrity. I think that one can lead more effectively that way. And it’s not just beyond reproach, like Caesar’s wife. It’s a value system that makes one feel that the politician/statesperson wasn’t bending to which ever way the political winds are blowing. I’m not saying that John Kerry was doing that in 2004, but sometimes it FELT like that.

Of course, one has to have real Christian values, such as looking out for the greater good, rather than just for his or her cronies. One does not profess to be a Christian, or indeed, a member of any faith, to achieve this; conversely, public piety does not Christian values prove (see Bush, George W.)

I read about this town along the Mississippi River that was flooded in 1993. The town decided to move the entire town to higher ground. So while neighboring towns are inundated again in 2008, this small town is literally high and dry. That took leadership, and an integrity that this was taking place to help everyone.

When I was in college in New Paltz, NY in 1974, a Congressional seat opened up. The Republican incumbent, Howard Robison of Tioga County, decided not to run again in this massive district that ran through at least five counties and looked like a giant curved hot dog, running from Ithaca (Tompkins County) through my hometown of Binghamton (Broome County) all the way to Woodstock and New Paltz (Ulster County). Four Democrats and five Republicans vied for the seat.

I was a member of the New Paltz Democratic Club and we heard from three of the Dem candidates; the fourth the Town of Union (Broome County) supervisor Knopp (or something like that) didn’t bother, because the core of the population base skewed east and we were on the western fringe. The three who came were a young lawyer from Binghamton, who at least one member ended up supporting; Bill Schecter (sp?) a Woodstock lawyer and perfectly acceptable choice; and Matt McHugh, the district attorney from Tompkins County. As the anti-establishment type that I was, I felt I would be least likely to support McHugh, whose job title epitomized “The Man”. But I wish I could tell you now what quiet elegance the man had where he expressed his viewpoint and I realized that, despite my initial misgivings, it as clear to me that he was the best man for the job. He oozed character. Maybe three or four others (John Vett – who would later become mayor of New Paltz; Tom Nyquist – who would also eventually become mayor of New Paltz; Tom’s wife Corinne) also supported McHugh; everyone else went to the local favorite, Schecter.

I never worked so hard on behalf of another person in my life until I cleaned out my mother’s shed last fall. I went door to door carrying petitions and got at least 125 signatures. I attended a number of “meet the candidate” house events. One of Matt’s great gifts was not only the ability to remember people’s names, but specific details about them. “Hello, Mary, how’s your husband Bob’s lumbago?”

Matt even gave me a ride from New Paltz to Binghamton so I could visit friends, and on the two-and-a-half hour drive debated the issues of the day. I didn’t agree with all of his positions. I specifically recall his position against abortion, based on his Roman Catholic upbringing which I didn’t share, and yet we found ways to agree to disagree while embracing our common ground.

The results of the primary was that Matt McHugh won the primary. He lost the part of Ulster County in the district, but I was pleased to note that HE WON NEW PALTZ!

For the general election, one of my professors, Glenn McNitt, who had been backing Schecter, helped organize polling phone banks, and I made a lot of calls. McHugh would be running against Al Libous, the mayor of Binghamton, whose politics I HATED. Of course, McHugh won the general election and served until the end of 1992, when he declined to run for reelection.

He is currently on the board of http://www.abanet.org/rol/europe_and_eurasia/board_europe_eurasia.html the America Bar association Rule of Law Initiative.

Anthony, I know I’ve fallen far afield of your question. Anyway, I think people sense authentic or inauthentic. Well, some of the time.

Oh, and thanks for your defense of me by that “opiate of the masses” guy. Peculiar, the post itself was primarily a thanks to my church choir director, whose last service is today; I never expected that sort of response and feel rather ill-equipped to go one-on-one with that type.

ROG

Almost Another Ghost Bike

Last Monday, my daughter Lydia needed to see her allergist, who was located in Corporate Woods, same area as my office, so I didn’t take my bike to work. In small recompense for that, I decided to ride to the local CVS drug store to drop off her prescriptions, then after dinner to ride back and pick them up.

I’m on West Lawrence Street at Madison Avenue, heading south, when I hit a red light. So I opted to turn left into the Mobil station. Suddenly, I see a car bearing down on me; the driver must have gotten his or her license from the Starman* school of automobile operation, as it had crossed Madison actually on the red light. I scream the s-word, one of those times that I think cursing is definitely appropriate. (Another time was getting a nail in my foot in 2000.)

I brake, of course, but I’m already over the center lines, so I also lean to my right and back. Somehow, I end up on the ground. Did the driver stop? No, but then he or she didn’t hit me, only almost did so.

When I catch my breath, I realize that I’m really sore on my left side. I drag my bike and myself to the grassy area in front of a theater, #10 Steamer Company, and just sit there for a few minutes. An EMT is stopped at the light, talking on a phone; I almost try to signal him, but choose not to. A couple minutes later, a woman drives by to see if I’m OK. I lie and say I’m fine. Finally, I get up, walk to the CVS, drop off the scripts, and ride home on the sidewalks. (Yes, I know I know I’m not supposed to, but I was feeling a little shaky, and walking was taking too long for the pain I was in.)

I tell the tale to my wife Carol, and she agrees to drive me to the urgent care place on Patroon Creek, parallel to Washington Avenue, after dinner. We figure that this is probably a better choice than the ER of a hospital. Of course, Lydia has to come too.

It is a bit surreal. I walk into the place, and I see a TV showing an episode of Seinfeld, with Jerry, George, and Elayne waiting in a hospital waiting room. This episode also features Jerry, Newman and Kramer waiting at a bedside of someone, George forgoing a trip to the Cayman Islands, and Drake coffee cakes. The next show, some CW soap with Blake Lively and Kelly Rutherford, I was trying to distract the four-year old daughter from watching.

Finally – and it was less than a half hour – I get taken into a room, and have my vitals taken. It was peculiar that I was feeling both hot and cold. Then I was examined by the doctor. Somehow, old Bill Cosby routines came rushing into my head. “Doctors are wonderful people, but they’re always touching something. ‘Does that hurt?’ YEOW! Does that hurt! Does that hurt!'” He asks me where I’m in pain, and I’m trying to use my right hand to show him where on my left side I’m bothered. Then he starts poking around. YEOW! Does that hurt! Does that hurt!

I go to get x-rays. Like Cosby’s doctor’s stethoscope, the x-ray machine felt as though they stored it in the refrigerator. Diagnosis: broken 6th rib on the left side, under my armpit, possibly from the handlebars, but I don’t know for sure. Treatment: rest; they don’t tape you up for this anymore. Also, be sure to breathe deeply and cough regularly, lest I develop pneumonia.

My wife takes the daughter and me home, then gets my pain reliever prescription filled at an all-night CVS; the one I dropped the daughter’s Rx is closed. Carol’s sleeping pattern skews early, so for her to go out at 10:30 pm to take a 15-minute ride to Colonie, wait 30 minutes for it to be filled, then drive the 15 minutes home is quite remarkable.

Unfortunately, my daughter became very wary of me ever since she jumped on me that night, and I screamed, “Lydia, no!” I apologized the next day. She will play Candyland with me, but there was definitely arm’s-length tension there until Saturday.

I’ve been sleeping in the recliner ever since, with a sofa pillow next to my left side because I can’t find anywhere else to sleep without tremendous pain. Other things that cause discomfort:
*the recommended deep breathing
*the recommended coughing
*laughing
*burping
*hiccuping
*bending over
*reaching with my left arm
*lifting things too heavy, even with my right arm
*walking down stairs (up is not so bad, though for the first couple days, I had to stop ever other step to catch my breath)

Also, the medicine can make one constipated. Gotta love those dried apricots.

The bad news is that I find it difficult to focus on reading or writing, and sleep is intermittent throughout the day, though the reading became easier as the week progressed. The good news is that I’ve caught up on watching JEOPARDY! Hey, there was a winner from East Greenbush, Pat Roche, a couple weeks ago!

The better news is that I did not end up being commemorated with a ghost bike, as a number of folks in this area have recently. A single broken bone and a couple bruises is a far better outcome than I quite literally feared.

* Jenny allows the alien to drive the car when he peels out. Jenny screams at the Starman that she thought he said he could drive. Starman replies: “I watched you very carefully. Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast.”
***
I figure I’d been watching Jim McKay from the time I was 8 or 9, usually watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports with my grandfather, through dozens of different sporting events, including the 1972 Munich Olympics, until I saw him anchor football game coverage only a few seasons back. So we’re talking well over 40 years of “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.” CBS News had a nice piece on him here, not that surprising since 1) he started on CBS, and 2) his son, Sean McManus is the head of CBS Sports. Here’s an extensive, 2 1/2 hour interview with McKay in six parts. I particularly recommend the last segment, only 10 minutes long, where he talks about others.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

ROG

Mother Truckin'…

I’m really ticked off.

One of my in-laws didn’t make the reunion last week because she was in a car accident. Last Wednesday, July 6, she was driving on Route 66 in Columbia County, NY taking her mother to the doctor’s office in Chatham. It’s a two-lane road.

Suddenly, a big vehicle is heading right towards her going about 75 in a 50 m.p.h. zone. Initially, she thinks it’s an oil tanker, but she is later told by witnesses that it was a cement truck. The truck driver had passed four or five cars in a row and could not pull back into his lane. My in-law could not head for the shoulder for fear of hitting the guardrail.

Even as the truck breaks in a futile 200-foot skid, my in-law notes that the guardrail suddenly ends, so she pulls off the road down a six-foot embankment. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, though understandably shaken. The truck driver doesn’t stop, but keeps on going.

The estimated damage to the car is $2100. And that’s just the visible, exterior damage.

Now I’ll tell you why I’m REALLY ticked off:

The deputy sheriff shows up and takes a report, but doesn’t seem all that interested in the details of the accident until the family nags him repeatedly. The Sheriff’s office has been very uncooperative with my in-law’s insurance company, not being forthcoming with any of the information that was obtained from the witnesses at the scene. One of my other in-laws theorizes that the Sheriff, who is running for reelection, does not want to upset the rich and powerful cement company. Seems cynical. It also sounds plausible.

I’m not one who is overly litigious, but if it were my call (and it’s not), I’d at least threaten the cement company with a lawsuit.

So, if you happen to have seen anything last Wednesday morning on Route 66 in Columbia County that fits this general description please e-mail me, even if you spoke to the Sheriff’s Department. ESPECIALLY if you spoke to the Sheriff’s Department. And if you didn’t, thanks for letting me vent..