The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #15 in NE,IA,IL,IN,OH,WV,PA,MD,VA & DE 5/12/98
From Maryland, Hi Everyone!
The trip east from Coleridge, NE started out 5/7/98 with perfect weather. The roads were better than expected except for the area around Chicago, IL. I would like to bypass IL, they have signs saying the speed limit is 55 MPH for trucks & motorhomes 65 MPH for cars. Almost every one is going 65 or better but I feel I have my neck in a noose all the time I am going over 55. The weather turned bad with rain and lower temperatures when I turned south in PA and all the way across MD. It was cold and rainy for two days after arriving in MD. I miss those California drivers, the people out here just don't know how to drive in heavy traffic. They have some very good roads here and it would sure be nice if drivers would be more considerate. On I 70 in Ohio I came up behind a car that was going slower than the limit. I stayed behind it for awhile and when I pulled over and started to accelerate, this other driver decided to get in a hurry and wasn't going to let me pass. If I was kicking up a dust cloud I would understand, but there was no dust. I got up to the speed limit and the other car stayed just ahead of me. I suppose she had a reason for it.
The weather improved on 5/15/98 and then I was reminded of the mosquitoes in this area. The mosquitoes look forward to my arrival every year since 1948 when I first showed up out here. As soon as the word gets out that I am here they stop what they are doing and come to feast on me. I guess they think my blood is better than any other. The natives here must be immune to the mosquitoes or they just don't have good blood. What I would like to see is a pill I could take so I wouldn't taste so good to the mosquitoes. They have pills to give a dog to keep the fleas & tics off, they have stuff to feed cattle to keep the flies off. Why not a pill for humans to keep the mosquitoes off? Hell, I would even be content to wear something like the old dog collar that they used to keep fleas & ticks off dogs.
I started getting the motorhome ready for inspection so I can get it registered in VA. It needed new pads on the front brakes and one backup lamp was burned out. ....5/18/98 It passed the inspection OK and it is now registered in VA, the new plates read "My Shado" for 10 bucks a year. I could afford it because the motorhome is exempt from state taxes because of it's age. I wish I could get an exemption from taxes on MY age. After the inspection I had a flat tire on one of the two oldest tires on the motorhome, it went flat at a low speed so not much damage was done. If it had gone flat last month when I was out west running 75 MPH it would have been hell. The tires still had plenty of tread left but they were over 8 years old. I replaced them both and now that I don't park it very often they should not weather check and I'll be able to wear them out.
5/24/98 Now it's back to the list of things undone, and I have a long list of things I want to do on the motorhome. I also have a list of things to do on Jenny's old car, she told me I could use it while here. I figure it would be cheaper to spend a little to fix it up than to spend a lot on the old car I brought out here from Nebraska that would have to be re-lisenced.
Now I want to address my observations to those out there who gave me hell for picking up that hitchhiker in the snow storm in Oregon. In the last few weeks I would say it's more dangerous to go to school than it is to pick up hitchhikers. No! I'm not going to stop picking up hitchhikers or stopping to offer assistance to stranded motorists. I will look them over and most of the time I will see an honest person in need of help, not too different from you. When I pick up a hitchhiker or stop to offer assistance to someone in need it makes two people feel good, me and the person I help. I will say that 99% of the people needing help will not harm me. If I should stop to offer assistance to someone who wants what I have, or wants to do me in, and I live to tell about it. You can say "I told you so", if I don't live to tell about it you can say "he was stupid" and I will tell you now that I am sorry for not listening to you. Over the years I have learned a lot of interesting things and met some interesting people by stopping to help someone in need. Just two days ago I offered to help a woman that I never got to meet, it happened when I was waiting for the two tires I purchased at Goodyear. A lady came in while I was waiting and I asked her if she had tire trouble, she didn't look like a truck driver and this was the truck part of the shop. She said "no she didn't but a handicapped lady was out on Rt.13 by the university and needed someone to come and change a flat tire for her". All the men in the shop were busy and they had a back log of work orders. So I told her I had time to kill and I would go change the tire for her. I drove Jeff's pickup that I was driving to the university and found the woman's car but by now there were a State Trooper and two Salisbury Police cars plus an Ambulance on the scene. I stopped and asked if I could help. The not too bright cop that was trying to get the wheel with the flat tire on it off said he couldn't get one wheel nut loose. I got down and looked at it and found that it was a security nut to prevent theft of the wheel and needed a special socket that the cop had been trying to use but couldn't get it to work. After looking at the nut and the socket I could see that the socket was keyed and would only go on one way. I took over from the not too bright cop and soon had the wheel off and the spindly little spare on. About that time the ambulance left with the handicapped lady in it. The cops said they had called a wrecker to come and get the car so I never saw the lady who needed help. The cop thanked me and I went back to Goodyear, my wheels were soon finished. I felt good for having helped the handicapped lady, that I never got to meet and the not too bright cop.
I believe the difference between California & New York drivers is the fact that California drivers let you change lanes and that makes them feel good. Not many New York drivers feel good. I can see it in their faces. I would like to see it change but I don't think it will in my life time. It hasn't changed in the over 50 years that I have driven in both states.
I have found that the easiest way to make a stranger a friend is to engage them in conversation and listen with interest to what they say. Everyone needs someone to listen to what they have to say.
Now for a sour note, I see the price of gasoline starting to go up. It was sure good while it lasted, I paid $.98 for the last gas I bought.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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