Binning it.

I did a little more stuff reduction today, tackling a little box that sits amongst a heap of dust-gathering crap. Perhaps I could move some of the crap into the box, but there was stuff in the box, including a ticket stub from the very first Brickyard 400, and — Kirk, you’ll like this — a pay stub from the Columbus Dispatch, March 1979. I earned $215 a week in what would have been my third month of employment.

The inflation calculator says that’s the equivalent of $690.22 today, and I sort of wish I hadn’t looked it up, because it shows how very un-remunerative my newspaper career has been. Only in the past year has my income recovered to its 2003 level, but oh well — I’ve always been a saver.

I kept the ticket stub, pitched the pay stub.

As I vacuumed up the dust — and may I just say, there is nothing like low winter sun to magnify every mote in the damn room — I recalled March 1979 was when I was cruelly snubbed from the pot-brownie distribution list before the Clinic, the Dispatch’s annual all-staff professional-development event. (Too early; no one knew me yet.) Kirk was not, and neither was Borden, and both were so stoned during the program they were lucky the entire management tier consisted of fossilized old men whose knowledge of intoxicants began and ended with Canadian Club. The keynote speaker was some guy from the AP, who pronounced the name of the 50th state “how-ah-ya,” after which I heard my colleague Karen (ate the brownie) say, “Fine. How are you?” Snickers rippled up and down the row.

Years later, Kirk and Karen would get married. And that’s about where anything even remotely interesting about that story ends. But the reverie made the cleaning go a little faster.

How as everyone’s weekend? The thaw came, and it is ongoing, but that was a lot of snow, and much of it is still out there, even as the gutters gurgle and the wet sidewalks become treacherous as soon as the sun goes down. Wendy and I had a miserable walk — more like a mince — this morning. There’s at least two months of winter left, and there’s only one thing to do: Head down and push on through.

Fortunately, this is why the lord gave us Bulleit rye. I just had two fingers, neat.

Man, am I sore, the result of an unfamiliar workout and a case of overdoing. So here are a few links, and I’m out:

How one-party rule came to pass in 36 states. Lengthy, depressing, infuriating.

For you Bruce Springsteen fans: Which albums are under-, over- and correctly rated. From Grantland.

Now I have to watch “True Detective” and read Tom & Lorenzo’s Golden Globes tweets. Enjoy the week ahead?

Posted at 12:30 am in Stuff reduction |
 

55 responses to “Binning it.”

  1. Dexter said on January 13, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Rolling Stone is always doing this, rating guitarists every few years, “best 100 guitarists of all time”, best albums by an artist…what’s the real point? You usually love a few songs on an album and feel maybe not-so-hot about some as well.
    I’m of the age to remember when Bruce broke nationally, I had a message board friend in Neptune, NJ, who told me her daughter used to see Bruce at The Stone Pony down the shore. I never met either of them, but that was cool. I have been a huge Springsteen fan since 1975, but I didn’t see him live until the “Born in the USA” tour in 1984, then I saw him three more times, the last two at St. John’s Arena and The Schott in Columbus. I have seen a helluva lot of concerts in my time. There is nothing in my world that compares with The Boss and The E Street Band. I am so glad I got to hear Clarence’s sax live, so happy I saw Danny Federici, Nils Lofgren, Roy Bittan, Might Max, Miami Steve, Patti, and Bruce just belting out that rock and roll. And still, as I wrote on this blog a while back, still I can almost conjure-up chills as I recall the night I stood up from my seat near the wing of the stage and Bruce strolled over while the band played “Cadillac Ranch”. The old Silverdome was rockin’ and rollin’ like never before in my life…I had entered a realm that I didn’t know existed. Hooked already before that night, I crossed over into a new era of appreciation. Oh fuck…I admit…sometimes I just know Bruce Springsteen is a god! Yeah!

  2. Dexter said on January 13, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Yes, It’s Just Another No-Pants-Sunday…
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/slideshow/No-Pants-Subway-Ride-in-San-Francisco-around-77613/photo-5714399.php

  3. Joe K said on January 13, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Beating the winter blues for a week in Orlando with the mouse. Ran the Disney marathon with 23,000 of my close friends. Finished in 4:13 not my best but not my worst. Temps in the 70-80 range mid day. Nice at the pool.
    Pilot Joe

  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 13, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Boo-yah, Joe. Well done.

  5. Alan Stamm said on January 13, 2014 at 7:23 am

    And the award for best cameo by an under-delivering TV series goes to your sly, wry use of “low winter sun.”

    Take a quick bow. No time for an acceptance speech.

  6. beb said on January 13, 2014 at 8:24 am

    John McCain, a man who has been wrong about just about everything, opined over the weekend that following his press conference, Gov. Christie should be able to get on with his life. Meanwhile, talkingpointsmemo.com has an article where other mayors in new jersey have come forward with claims that they were stiffed by Christie as well. Another month of this and people are going to start talking about jersey politics the way they do Chicago politics.

  7. coozledad said on January 13, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Gov. Christie should be able to get on with his life.

    In Rahway.

  8. beb said on January 13, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Haven’t seen the T&L critique of the Golden Globes dresses but did look at a couple lists on Yahoo. Lupita Nyong’o I think takes the prize for matching her dark skin with a brilliant, scarlet dress whose simple lines fit her just fabulously. Emma Watson wins the WTF award for a dress inspired by a hospital gown – it’s all front with black pants covering the dare-E-air. One critic slammed Julie Roberts for wearing what amounts to a white shirt under a black strapless dress. And other praised it. I thought it was a good choice because it didn’t draw away from her. She wasn’t lost in the dress. Jennifer Lawrence was another whose dress was either hated or loved. I kind of liked it. Like under or over-appreciated record albums, its all a matter of taste.

  9. LAMary said on January 13, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Cooz, what do you have against Rahway? I think Christie needs to live in Passaic, maybe Plainfield.
    I’m looking forward to my lunch break to read Tom and Lorenzo. I missed a lot of the GGs. I was making dinner, doing laundry, getting my work stuff together. They showed it a second time here in LA but I went for Downton Abbey instead.

  10. Julie Robinson said on January 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Envious, Joe. It’s already an interminable winter and it seems like forever until our next trip south, when it’s really only three weeks. The gray, it gets me down.

    Off-topic: Robert Gates. So much for the Team of Rivals strategy.

  11. Jerri said on January 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

    LA Mary, Rahway’s the state prison.

  12. brian stouder said on January 13, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Jerri – LA Mary was NJ Mary before it was cool

  13. coozledad said on January 13, 2014 at 10:25 am

    LA Mary: I was thinking mostly of the East Jersey Correctional Facility.

    So much for the Team of Rivals strategy
    This is the thing I don’t get. It’s expected that republican presidents will select a cabinet that will be authoritarian in outlook- bootlickers, insider trading opportunists, torture dweebs, military fetishists, crypto Nazis, overt Nazis, and every surviving member of the Nixon/Ford/Reagan/George Wallace Anschluss.

    At the same time expected that Democratic presidents hire at least one David Gergen to bitch about the president on ABC’s Grab a Great Big Handful of Cokie’s Valium Benumbed Ass Sunday.

    This should be the last time, shouldn’t it?

  14. MichaelG said on January 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

    That was a wonderful, sweet story yesterday, Della. I liked it a lot.

    Seattle Seahawks join bush league. The Seahawks are refusing to sell tickets to Sunday’s game to anybody whose credit card has a California address forcing 49er fans to buy exclusively from scalpers. Lotsa class there.

  15. Bitter Scribe said on January 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

    What kills me about Gates is, he was indignant about Obama being mistrustful enough to, at one meeting, warn those present against recounting it in their memoirs–in an incident that, of course, Gates recounted in his memoir.

    Did this guy have his sense of irony surgically removed, or what?

    Joe K, I did the math, and that works out to a sub-10-minute mile pace. I could run 26 miles that fast myself. Of course, you’d have to give me a month to do it. Well done.

  16. MichaelG said on January 13, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Re Gates: Once again Obama’s efforts at bipartisanship bite him in the ass.

  17. LAMary said on January 13, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I know Rahway is where the state pen is, but have you ever been to the balmier parts of Passaic county?

  18. coozledad said on January 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

    LA Mary: I’ve never venture much off I-95, except once on the way back from NYC. My wife and I stopped at a breakfast place, and there were some guys at a table next to us with decidedly southern accents.

    Later I asked one of the regulars(Jersey born, educated at Wake Forest)at the bar where I worked if there was some place in NJ where they talk that way.
    No, he said. No place.

  19. Sherri said on January 13, 2014 at 11:31 am

    MichaelG, the Seahawks aren’t singling out California addresses. They’re requiring a billing address from WA, OR, ID, MT, AK, or HI. Not that there are that many tickets available to sell anyway; the tickets for the divisional round sold out in minutes.

    I think they did it because they know how much ‘Niner fans like to complain…last time the ‘Niners played up here, there was a letter to the editor in the SF Chronicle complaining that the NFL ought to do something about the noise in the stadium up here.

  20. LAMary said on January 13, 2014 at 11:53 am

    A little known and useless fact: part of New Jersey was actually below the Mason Dixon line.

    I had a long phone conversation with my New Jersey brother over the holidays. He’s the one married to the Chris Christie in drag person. We had an in depth discussion about the Real Housewives of NJ. While I admit that show is complete crap, there are a few ways I feel connected to it. Franklin Lakes is where some of the McMansions those people live in are located. I believe the Mc Mansions are part of a development called Urban Farms, which my father had something to do with back in the sixties. The developer owed him a lot of money and my father would make occasional visits to his home to collect. The other is the Brownstone, which is now owned by the Manzos, one of the families on that show. Previously it was owned by a guy named Clune, who was a friend of my father’s and he owed my father a lot of money. I think we took it out in trade in his case using his place for family weddings and frequent business lunches. The current owner is the son of Tiny Manzo, a former customer of my father’s and subsequently my brother’s business, a lumber yard. Tiny met an untimely death when he was shot and cut into small pieces and stuffed into the trunk of his Lincoln. According to the current Manzos, he was not in any way affiliated with the mob. I bet the Manzo’s good friend, Bernie Kerik would attest to that as well.

  21. MaryRC said on January 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Tom and Lorenzo have featured Lena Dunham already this morning in their line-up, to an outpouring of loathing from the commenters — not just over her dress which, granted, didn’t fit her very well, but her posture, her grimaces and her general stance of not giving a damn.

    I noticed this on another blog as well. The interesting part was that on the same blog, Emma Thompson was feted for her no-BS attitude when she threw away her Louboutin shoes, saying they were killing her. So Emma is acclaimed for not giving a damn (or at least playing the part of an actress not giving a damn) while at the same time, Lena is trashed for not giving a damn.

  22. MichaelG said on January 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I’m aware of the six state thing with the Seahawks, Sherri. They are also allowing buyers from a couple of Canadian provinces. What I said stands. They are pointedly not allowing ticket sales to 49er fans. As I said, the Seahawks are bush.

    Fans complain. It’s the nature of the beast. There’s always an idiot who writes a letter to the editor. My favorite complainer was the Head of the California Bar who wanted to make lawyer jokes a hate crime.

  23. Bitter Scribe said on January 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Dunham, to her credit, at least has a sense of humor about the backlash against her. When Howard Stern said on his show something to the effect that she was just trying to prove little fat chicks could get it goin’ on, Dunham laughed it off on Letterman a few nights later: “I hope they put that on my tombstone: ‘She was a little fat chick, and she got it goin’ on.”

  24. alex said on January 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    My favorite complainer was the Head of the California Bar who wanted to make lawyer jokes a hate crime.

    I used to work for the American Bar Association, and although I don’t see it now on their web site (maybe it got laughed out of existence) there used to be a Commission Against Lawyer Defamation or some such and its purpose was to write indignant (and truly cringeworthy) press releases in response to people like Jay Leno, David Letterman, etc. This office was literally inviting ridicule, and I do mean literally.

  25. Sherri said on January 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Nobody associated with a team coached by someone who throws as many tantrums as Jim Harbaugh has any standing to call another organization bush.

    There were only a few thousand tickets, and they sold out in minutes, anyway. It’s really not that big a deal, unless you’re looking for something to complain about.

  26. crinoidgirl said on January 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Nic and Pancho do yoga.

  27. Kirk said on January 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    So the brownie deal was 35 years ago? It was one strange night. Karen and Jeff whipped ‘em up, as I recall. And interesting that you were making $215 then. That’s what I started at in late ’76.

    If the Seahawks are sure they can fill the stadium with their own fans (and they obviously can), then I sure would say to hell with 49ers or any other visiting fans. I get weary of seeing tons of Penguins and Red Wings fans at Blue Jackets games, but they want to sell tickets. At least the great majority of those fans behave themselves, and you have to give credit to fans who travel with their team. Buffalo Sabres fans, though, are a bunch of drunken, loutish assholes.

  28. MichaelG said on January 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Sherri, I get it that you don’t like the 49ers and don’t like Harbaugh. Yes there was only a small number of tickets and no, I didn’t have any plans or desire to buy one. Not allowing any tickets at all for the opposing team’s fans is indicative of an attitude that I cannot respect. I guess we’ll just agree to disagree.

    “unless you’re looking for something to complain about.” That really raises the tone of the discussion.

  29. Bitter Scribe said on January 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone who has had Harbaugh’s success gets to throw all the tantrums he wants. (And no, I’m not a 49ers fan, but I am a Stanford one.)

    I get weary of seeing tons of Penguins and Red Wings fans at Blue Jackets games.

    Wait until they start to do a little better.

  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    LAMary, as close as I can get to your always well-connected narratives: Bernie Kerik’s mom was found dead a couple of blocks from my court office where I’m typing this. That’s a connection of sorts….no, not really.

  31. LAMary said on January 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I don’t know if being on the fringes of possible mob stuff is all that well connected. Growing up in northern New Jersey you always heard rumors about whose dad was in the mob or who could get you a television that fell off the truck. I think Bernie said in his book that his mother was a prostitute, didn’t he?

  32. LAMary said on January 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I just got an alert from the LA Times that the octomom has been busted for fraudulent statements on her welfare application. I’m glad the LA Times recognized that I needed to know that ASAP and didn’t wait until they sent me tomorrow’s paper.

  33. beb said on January 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    That’s because by tomorrow morning the Octomom story will as old as yesterday’s news.

  34. Sherri said on January 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Pro sports aren’t like college: there aren’t a group of tickets made available to the opposing team. There’s not a visiting team section.

    I don’t think success excuses the amount of whining to the refs that Harbaugh does, much less the running onto the field to complain about a call he did this weekend (which drew a well-deserved flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, and which if the NFL shows any consistency, should draw a fine as well.) I don’t think Bobby Knight’s success excused his boorish behavior on or off the court, either.

    And I am a Stanford fan who was happy to see him succeed at Stanford, but even happier to see David Shaw succeed.

  35. Deborah said on January 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    There were always lots of mob connection stories in Miami,FL where I grew up. I went to high school with a bunch of them. I can’t remember any of the names now except for Bonano. One time the Miami Herald published a bunch of names and addresses of mob connected people and I was astonished how many of them lived near me, because our neighborhood was blue collar for sure. I thought they would have lived in better neighborhoods.

  36. paddyo' said on January 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    FWIW, the Broncos are doing the same thing here with tix for Sunday’s AFC championship game vs. the Pats — and to zero controversy. At least a couple of NHL teams have done similarly in the past.
    Like Seattle, Denver’s Donks draw from a multistate regional fan base — CO, NM, UT, WY, NE, MT, SD and western KS. That list once included AZ until Phoenix got the Cardinals. From the tenor of the Bay Area news media coverage of this non-story, it looks like somebody ginned up the perfect kerfluffle to occupy the most rabid of fans until Sunday afternoon.

  37. LAMary said on January 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Bonanno was the real name of the mobster known as Joe Bananas. My favorite mob name is Anthony Tony Ducks Corallo.

  38. Danny said on January 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Looks like the water in WV is now safe to drink. It just smells a little like licorice. Whew, crisis averted!

    Mary, your mob references reminded me that my favorite line in ‘American Hustle’ (which I thought a marginal movie) was when Christian Bale’s character got choked up when Jeremy Renner’s character was gifting him one of the first microwave ovens made: “You mean to tell me that because you value our friendship, you are giving me one of these… a science oven? (hand to heart) I don’t know what to say…”

  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 13, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    LAMary, that was her business, here in beautiful Newark, Ohio, gem of the east central Ohio region. “East of the river” is no longer a phrase that means what it once did, in part because the B&O roundhouse is gone, and they tore down at least four former whorehouses to build our modern justice center, aka “Jail”. Of course, the quiet historians around courthouse square will tell you there were more like sixteen of them “back in the day.” Blind pigs and lynchings not of people of color around here, but of revenue agents trying to close down illegal taverns.

    We were what Pottersville warned you against! All that is gone, and what’s left is a string of tattoo parlors where lots of business is done in exchange, which is a sort of prostitution, I guess, if you count trading a blowjob for a unicorn on your shoulder. Our downtown core is better than most across Ohio, really, but when some rosy-goggled oldtimers insist “downtown ain’t what it used to be!” I try to find a way to say “and ain’t that grand!”

  40. Sherri said on January 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Meanwhile, if you want a real sports controversy, how about figure skating: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/66521406

  41. Danny said on January 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Jeff, I meant to tell you that we watched (more like endured) and were underwhelmed by the 1938 version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Reginald Owen. Wooden acting was in lumberyard abundance and then a board creaked as the Ghost of Christmas-Past walked across the Scrooge’s bedroom floor… and 1951 version with Alastair Sim still ruled supreme in my heart.

    You know, this is second Yuletide strike for you… the first being a few years back when you steered me towards that abominable fruitcake that those monks made. Alcohol-laced as it was, it was still without merit (probably becasue it was a fruitcake). It oughtta illegal for pastors to screw up Christmas. You are making the baby Jesus cry. What a maroon! (H/T Pros)

  42. Deborah said on January 13, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Danny you made me laugh.

  43. del said on January 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Yes, hat tip to Prospero Danny. Well played.

  44. Dexter said on January 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Danny! You blasphemous sun worshipper! The 1938 “Scrooge” with Reginald Owen is The Stardard by which to measure all others! That 1951 version sucks, just is horrible. Owen was destined, only getting the role after Barrymore broke his hip.
    I have watched the 1938 version maybe a hundred times, and love it more each time.

  45. MarkH said on January 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Me, too, Danny. Since pros passed, one of the things I’ve been doing is trying to inventory his more famous lines for the right drop-in later. Gotta do it just right, though, like Danny did, to do the guy justice.

    Speaking of Prospero/Mike. Been otherwise occupied the past few days since he left us so haven’t posted a condolence or remembrance here. But that’s OK as so many of you have said it so well, echoing my feelings. Nancy’s entry in the funeral guestbook was spot-on for all of us. He really was so smart. I regret he was so angry and contentious so much of the time. Made me appreciate all the more when we could find common ground on something and have a civil exchange. Never on politics of course, but a film, TV or music perhaps. A vital adversary, he was.

    Flashback to the railroad talk last Friday, a fascinating discussion: I got my love for trains honest, from my dad, who had a love affair with them until he died. Always made sure I had a fairly elaborate Lionel train set for Christmas desplay. On my desk here right now I’m looking at a momento he was given years ago and passed on to me. It’s a chrome plated railroad spike/paper weight. One of the few things I have left of his. As kids in Cincinnati, we used to play along the tracks and in the rail yard in the nearby Clare depot. Saw one horrible accident there when a car couldn’t beat a passenger train over the crossing. One dead, three badly injured. The conductor was already out on the tracks and warned us kids “don’t go over there!” Should have listened. The image has stayed with me all these 45+ years. When I came west to do oil & gas exploration, part of my job as a permit agent was to scout the geophysical line locations. It took me out to many remote locations in the mountains, forests and plains surrounding the Overthrust Belt and have always been fascinated with these rail lines snaking through the wilderness. Charlotte is correct about Livingston. I lived and worked there just as it was being decommissioned as a major BN rail hub and repair facility. Still a lot of rail activity there, though.

    One last, on suicide by train: Take a look at this scene from the classic “Double Imdemnity”, featuring an insurance lesson on suicides delivered by the brilliant Edward G. Robinson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV6wbBFmPdo

  46. Danny said on January 13, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks, everyone. Hopefully we can remember him from time to time here. Too bad Ashley’s tenure was not coincidental with with Pros’. That would have been epic. What was it Ash used to say? Something like, “Fuck you you fucking fuck-mook you!”

    Mark I forgot with all the train expert talk here to ask a very impoortant question from my youth that never got answered: What really happens when you put a quarter on the track? Does the train derail, does the quarter get mashed beyond recognition or do both things occur. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest unsolved mysteries from experimentation conducted into causal reality by tribal bands of roving boys throughout modern history.

  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 13, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Dexter, thanks for the support! Reginald Owen, by the way, is Admiral Boom in the movie “Mary Poppins”.

    I am, indeed, a maroon! But not an alum of the University of Chicago.

  48. Kim said on January 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Cooze, I ventured off I-95 in NC today and if I didn’t have someone to meet would’ve been lost in some stories there, for sure. That’s what seems to happen along the line where haves/not-haves converge.

  49. DellaDash said on January 13, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    MarkH@45 – First heard about Lionel trains in connection with Neil Young. If I get the linkage right, you can check it out here.

  50. DellaDash said on January 13, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Well, the video doesn’t load from that link…will try to track down the right one later.

  51. Dave said on January 14, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Della, fascinating story about your gandy dancer days. I would have never guessed. Much harder work than anything I ever did. Also, I would guess you were either working for the Milwaukee (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific) or the Rock Island (Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific), I would guess, both a couple of broken-down properties now gone or swallowed up. The Rock Island was the largest railroad to go completely out of business in 1980. It would be easier to determine based on where you were working.

    Clare, MarkH? Really. I used to work into Clare Yard, hidden at the bottom of a steep embankment below Mariemont. It was quite surprising to drive through a very nice neighborhood, only to descend the steep driveway down to Clare. It was said that a lot of people in Mariemont really had no idea the railroad was down there. I always found that rather difficult to believe because railroads are noisy.

    Today, there’s very little there and no through trains pass by.

    Lastly, I’ve hit things much larger than quarters and there was no derailment.

  52. Dave said on January 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

    . . .business, in 1980, not the largest business to go out of business in 1980. Edit!

  53. DellaDash said on January 14, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Dave – we were working in Davenport, Iowa. I think it was for the Milwaukee, because it was NOT the familiar-since-babyhood Rock Island Line. And yes, at that time in the 70′s, it was an outfit on its last legs.

  54. Sherri said on January 14, 2014 at 12:41 am

    The killing underscored the increased debate about when to use smartphones in public. But not, you know, any debate about whether you should be packing heat.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/us/florida-man-is-shot-to-death-for-texting-during-movie-previews.html

  55. Dexter said on January 14, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Must be twenty-five years gone now from the night when a young man crossed the NS tracks against the red flashing stop lights at the Walnut Street crossing in Bryan, Ohio. Well, to say he crossed the tracks is misleading; he never made it across. He was hit by a speeding freight train and his arm was ripped off. As I recall, that was the final incident that it took to get automatic cross-arm barriers at that crossing. The railroad tried to simply eliminate the crossing altogether but the city here didn’t allow them to do it.
    John the AMTRAK stationmaster here saw me at the coffee shoppe and told me to really watch my pedestrian comings and goings anywhere near RR property. The railroad had hired a dick and he was writing tickets to anybody who dared cross at anywhere but sanctioned crosswalks. John himself had an unofficial private parking spot he used on the opposite side of the AMTRAK station here, necessitating walking over the platform tracks. The dick saw him and wrote him a trespassing ticket which would have carried a fine of around one hundred dollars and mandatory train safety classes way over in Toledo. John made a phone call and everything was dismissed because of his worker status, but that dick was serious. John told me three kids about 12 years old were walking alongside the tracks and the dick saw them and hauled them to the cop station and since the parents were working, the sheriff had to take them to the juvenile prison out by Stryker. I bet those kids never walked there again.

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