Letters - Summer 2014

Fountain of Youth

Despite the arrival of Medicare cards, more gray hair, and the consternation of our friends, we thought we had trained pretty well for our fourth trip to the Bozone. Fixated on goals, we did manage to replant the family flag at Hyalite Lake and the M, and also leave some tracks on the city trails. We have decided that the real goal is to keep on training. Move it or lose it.

Our new role models are the Gallatin gals who gallop up the M trail with their silver ponytails keeping cadence. Uniform of the day: tank tops, shorts, and trail-gripping shoes. Holy R.E.I., Batman, we choked on the dust of young moms trotting up the trail with toddlers in their backpacks. That’s where the fun begins.

Our neighbors here in Alabama believe that the Fountain of Youth springs up in the courtyards of their condos in Florida. They're wrong. The Fountain of Youth is in Gallatin County. It’s all about the active lifestyle. Move over, 30-somethings. Make way for the OPALs (Old People Active Living).

Lori & John Weisner

Rules of the Road

When did politeness change from doing what’s right to tolerating what’s wrong? Blindly riding a bike down the middle of the street used to be impolite. Not to mention stupid. Nowadays it’s considered saving the Earth! When I was growing up, “share the road” had more to do with paying attention to cars and following the rules of the road, and less to do with drifting. That’s all I see—bicyclists texting, twittering, and snapping selfies while weaving to and fro on a retro-designed bike with a basketful of gluten-free bagels and locally sourced vegetables—shipped here from thousands of miles away via refrigerated diesel-powered trucks in the middle of the night. This is progress?

Politeness used to mean looking a person in the eye, not staring at a smart phone, tapping away about your inane activities. A man used to be considered jumpy, and not too solid, if he jerked at every beep and click around him. Now the slightest noise or vibration sets one to searching frantically among purse or pants pockets for something to fill the obvious void between his or her ears.

Seems to me that being polite now means capitulating to selfish behavior. The truck driver is deemed impolite if he tries to pass a band of cyclists riding four-abreast on Bridger Canyon Rd. Cyclists who know he’s back there but stay strung out across the road. Apparently that trucker is supposed to drive 15 MPH for the next 10 winding miles while that smug, spandex-clad cluster of bumper-sticker philosophers discuss how beautiful their ride is... a ride that wouldn’t be possible if men hadn’t built the road for trucks in the first place. Maybe they’d let the guy pass if they knew he was hauling a fresh load of organic avocados.

Willy Jasox