Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

One reader says older folks have less need for speed

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Life is a crowded superhighway with bewildering cloverleaf exits on which a man is liable to find himself speeding back in the direction he came.

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– Peter De Vries

Ishared an observation last week about speeding motorists and sparked some reader reaction, particularly for my defense of older drivers.

I said I could adjust to slow seniors better than I could adjust to the speedy youngsters in the lanes around me.

One reader suggested I sided with seniors because I am one. (You’re close.)

George C’ de Baca was a bit more thoughtful, however.

“Your column on the speeders you encounter made me start thinking,” he wrote. “Are they the same ones I encounter or ... is it me? At my age I notice my brain is not as quick as it used to be and my reactions are slower, which may make me think it is they who are driving too fast.

“Look at the movies we have now; or the games they play on their computers with all that fast action. Maybe they are translating that to their real life or think that is the way it is supposed to be.

“Anyway,” George said, “all that thinking just tired me out and I have to take a nap.”

(Sleep deep, George.)

SPEAKING OF SPEEDING: Take a moment to thank President Nixon. In the 1970s, this most troubled of chief executives pushed to lower the speed limit on America’s best highways to 55 mph.

He was trying to curb gas consumption, but the unintended consequence was the suddenly diminished speeds of American travelers caused the single biggest annual drop in the rate of traffic fatalities in our history.

Some debate whether this is the true reason, but I like to think that many people are alive today because they (or their parents) didn’t die in car wrecks.

(Sleep deep, Mr. President.)

LET’S HELP BILL: Bill Baab is on the trail. He writes: “On July 16, 1950, in the Sunday Chronicle, the Rev. George C. Jackson advertised ‘Jackson’s Tonic, good for run down condition, nervousness, loss of appetite.’ He also suggested that he be contacted about his ‘other medicines.’ He lived at 1113 Cedar St. in Augusta.”

If you know how to get in touch with the Rev. Jackson, give Bill a call at (706) 736-8097 or send an e-mail to riverswamper@comcast.net.

TODAY’S JOKE: When a 3-year-old son opened the birthday gift from his grandmother, he discovered a water pistol. He squealed with delight and headed for the nearest sink.

His mother, however, was not so pleased. She turned to her mom and said, “I’m surprised at you. Don’t you remember how we used to drive you crazy with water guns?”

The grandmother smiled and said, “Oh, yes! I remember.”


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