By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
May 23, 2004
During my drive to work each day, a few minutes on either side of 7:30 a.m., I make a left-hand turn onto 23rd Avenue from either 31st Street or 32nd Street. Right in front of Meridian High School.
At that time of morning, people are going to work, and there is an unbroken line of cars traveling south. Teen-agers are crossing 23rd Avenue on foot. Mothers are stopping in the road to drop off children. Students driving north are trying to make left-hand turns onto campus from 23rd Avenue.
And, the lights flashed red and yellow during the only time of day they really needed to cycle. Red for east-west traffic, yellow for north-south traffic.
You won't be surprised to learn that north-south drivers wouldn't slow down to let anybody in. I began to dread the aggressive driving required to make a left-hand turn and the near-misses involving students I witnessed every morning.
Over the course of a couple of weeks, I called city hall and the police station several times to tell them about a dangerous situation.
I started calling the police station every morning. On the third day, Sgt. David Latting answered the phone and promised to get the message to the right person. Greer Goldman, street superintendent with the public works department, called me later that morning.
What, he asked, did I think needed to be done? I told him the lights should cycle red-green early in the morning. Goldman said they were set to begin cycling at 7:30 a.m. I told him they weren't and, in any case, that was too late.
The next morning, the lights began cycling earlier. Driving to work became safer and more pleasant, and I felt like a good citizen. Ironic that it happened at the very end of the school year.
I wish I may, I wish I might …
I love encyclopedias. Old ones, new ones, it doesn't matter. I bought two sets from the late 1950s at the library's book sale.
I came across a delightfully weird passage in an article about the development of the human brain. It remarked that we would be smarter, and human brains more complex, if we had wings because we would need bigger brains to operate both hands and wing muscles.
And, if a wingd species of man were to develop:
Only a boy who wished he could fly when he blew out the candles on his birthday cake could grow up to be a man capable of writing that passage and inserting it into the middle of the stodgy Encyclopedia Britannica.
Vicarious pride: Because so many high school students wrote stories for this year's Profile edition, I recognized names in the graduation lists even though I don't have children. Congratulations, Class of 2004.
Doing OK: A friend of mine walked away with bruises after her van hydroplaned on the interstate, rolled, struck a tree and came to rest upside down. Another friend's father is recovering well after surgery as is my own mother. For these blessings, I am truly thankful.
Suzanne Monk is managing editor
of The Meridian Star. Call her at
693-1551, ext. 3229, or e-mail email@example.com.