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Life in the fast lane ... as if

September 17, 2008 - Jim Bartholow
Reading today's articles (Sept. 17) about teen drivers took me back a few years to when I got my license. I was 17, because no one would ride with me while I had my learner's permit. Rather, I should say no one would ride with me a second time. I guess I have some habits that irritate people. I remember the first time I drove on the open highway after getting my learner's permit. It was in the late afternoon rush hour on Interstate 271 in suburban Cleveland. My dad and I were driving home from the driver's license office. He pulled over and told me to drive! So, here I was going 70 MPH on a busy eight-lane interstate. Yikes! It was hard to drive those 10 miles home with my leg quivering, but I made it. Anyway, I practiced and practiced backing up and pulling forward in our long driveway. Only one major mishap during my learner's permit period. I backed up our big Chrysler and hit a 4-by-4 that held up the corner of the overhang by the garage. That wasn't pretty. By the time the summer of 1967 arrived, I needed a job. So, some of my friends and I went to a summer theater in the round called MusicCarnival in Warrensville Heights, just outside of Cleveland and a 15-minute drive from my home in Macedonia. The job was parking cars for a valet service. The boss never asked if I had a license. He just assumed I did. I hurried up and took my test, passed and spent the summer parking cars. That's how I learned how to drive stick shifts, although some of the customers might dispute that. Pike Street construction As a follow up to my last blog about driving through the construction are on Pike Street, I can report it's still a pain. We drove to Hensler's in the afternoon and made it OK. But the trip back was a challenge with slow-moving traffic, and dust-making road machines all over the place. I guess we just have to be patient on the road and in waiting for the work to be done. Also, I can't wait to see the resurfaced Lancaster Street hill once it opens to traffic next month. Tribe update Wait til next year. But I have to recommend two books I've run across about the Indians by longtime reporter Terry Pluto. One is "Dealing," which deals with the Tribe's period of change from the fantastic 1990s into the post-Thome-Manny era. I'm currently reading "The Curse of Rocky Colavito," which is billed as a "loving look at a 30-year slump." I don't know how I've missed these books, but they should be required reading for any Indians fan. Donation idea If both presidential candidates are so big on change, why don't they donate, or have their well-heeled donors, give some of those millions they're giving to the campaigns to help with hurricane reocovery efforts in Texas and the Gulf Coast. The stories and pictures tell a harrowing story. I hope everyone is safe. The same goes for all those Ohioans coping with storm damage and power outages. The Mid-Ohio Valley was really lucky.


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