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Sunday, September 14, 2014

WHY DON'T SCHOOL BUSES HAVE SEATBELTS?

My husband's niece posted the picture (see here) on Facebook which contains the caption: "CHILDREN MUST ALWAYS WEAR A SEAT BELT, EXCEPT IF YOU PUT 50 OF THEM IN ONE VEHICLE."

I replied by telling her that I had worked for a company which manufactured school buses and if school districts wanted seat belts installed, all they had to do was order them, because the Company was glad to install them because, quite simply, that generated more income for the Company.

I mentioned that the state with the strictest standards for school buses was Kentucky. You might wonder, as I did, why would Kentucky be so strict about their buses? In the 1990s there was an horrific school bus accident in Kentucky when a bus went over a cliff and killed all the children. After that, seat belts became mandatory in school buses.

A delegation would come from Kentucky to observe their vehicles were being built. They were free to roam the plant, talk to employees, and inspect our methods and procedures. That, of course, would be a very pressure-filled time, with the customers able to watch every action. I didn't have any fear because I knew what my employees did every day and I always followed my mother's saying, "We do the right thing because it's the right thing to do."

I must admit that we were shamelessly sycophantic when we knew that the Kentucky customers were scheduled to be in our plant. Because we were a Deming-style plant, all employees wore uniforms, but when we knew that Kentucky customers would be coming, there were many people wearing Kentucky Wildcats tee-shirts!

One wonders why school buses would be built without seat belts. Read the article Why Don't Buses Have Seatbelts? which was published in the trade periodical Public Transport.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BATTER UP

At dinner recently we were discussing the "best places" that had been in town when we were young and now were no longer in business. Someone mentioned Alkire's Bakery and each one of us told of a particular favorite pastry from there: bear claws, Napoleons, crème horns, oval-shaped oatmeal cookies, etc. One of the dinner guests asked, "Did you know that a bakery in Leesburg bought all of the recipes and equipment when Alkire's shut down?" None of the dinner guests knew that and he said he would find out the name and location of the bakery.

He called several days later and told me that the name of the bakery in Leesburg was BATTER UP BAKERY and I answered, "Oh, isn't that cute?", meaning the play-on-words about "batter" and cake mix was cute! I later learned that there is a "baseball theme" at the bakery and thus the choice of name Batter Up. See the logo here:

BATTER UP BAKERY
40 East Main Street
Leesburg, OH 45135
Telephone: 937-780-2253

Open Wednesday and Friday 5:30 AM--7:30 PM; Saturday 7:00 AM--noon

You can check their gorgeous creations on Facebook.

I'll be going there before the next dinner party to buy dessert. I hope the Napoleons, crème horns, oval-shaped oatmeal cookies and bear claws are as good as we remember.

 I feel like Marcel Proust! (see BLOG article)

Friday, September 12, 2014

FACEBOOK WARRIOR

After reading my BLOG article IF NOT US, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN? my friend Sharon sent this posting from the Urban Dictionary and wrote, "NOW we have a name for THEM!"





Facebook Warrior
Someone who posts on Facebook about all their ideals and causes....without doing any real work. They find a cliche post that someone else wrote and re-posts it, thinking they're part of the fight. But their post gets lost in Facebook's "previous post limbo", never to be seen again by anyone. They can be a part of millions of different causes without lifting a finger (other than their mouse clicking finger). Posers.

Did you see Mary's Facebook Warrior flavor of the week? It's called CABWHEL... I don't know, it has something to do with Cousins against Big Wheels or something.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

RESTORES ONE'S FAITH IN HUMANITY‏

Occasionally I become disheartened by the behavior of people and I conclude that there isn't much hope for the human race. Whenever I think about contributions to humanity, I think of Jonas Salk who refused all profit from the polio vaccine.

Each time I am grousing about people, my husband will ask, "How about Tim?"

Tim was a friend who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I told Tim, "If you need anything, you know you can depend on us." He said, "I know that, and thank you, but I'm OK." As the weeks went by, he needed to have an operation and he had to be off work and use his disability insurance. His wife had been injured at work and she was attending college to prepare for a different career. Each week I would call to ask how they were doing and he would continue to tell me that his disability checks were covering their expenses and he wanted to make sure his wife continued her schooling, but they were OK.

After a couple of months, I received a call and he said, "You know you told me that if I needed help, you knew some resources." I learned that he had used all of their savings; taken out all of his 401K investments; the 66 % payment he received from disability was not covering their expenses; he was in debt $2,500 for doctor and hospital bills; he needed to start a round of 35 chemotherapy visits and he wouldn't have funds for the co-payments.

I asked him to let me make some phone calls and I would call him the next day. I also asked him to let me help him write an appeal to his insurance company. He said he didn't think it would do any good, but I reminded him that I had written an appeal for my mother and they had reconsidered. We wrote the appeal and I mailed it.

I took him to Community Action to inquire about any benefits available.

Weeks before Tim called me I had been to the Medical Arts Building for therapy on my shoulder and I'd noticed a cookbook being offered for sale at the Receptionist's desk; I asked what group it was to benefit, and the Receptionist told me it was for The Tree Of Life and its mission was to help cancer patients. I called the Tree Of Life and told Tim's story and I was told to have him write a letter telling what was needed and submit it and they would consider his case. I typed a letter, took it to him for his signature, and mailed it the same day.

I recalled that when I'd gone to a Candidate's Forum before the last election, one of the candidates told that she belonged to a sorority with a charitable mission to help cancer patients. I got in touch with her and she told me they were meeting that very next night to decide where to allot their funds. She told me to have him write a letter and get it to the Secretary. I immediately typed a letter, took it to him to sign, and I hand-delivered it to the Secretary at her place of business.

I called several people to ask their churches to donate and I imposed on a friend to ask her St. Vincent de Paul group to donate. I called my brother and told him that the Catholics were giving $200; of course, the Pentecostal had to match that. I sent out a letter to friends and family. I had a yard sale.

Gerald told him that he would drive him to Wilmington for the five-times-a-week, 7-week chemotherapy treatments.

Because of the generosity of family, friends, churches, and the charitable groups, we were able to raise the $2,500 to be able to have him out of debt.

He recovered wonderfully well; he returned to work and his wife completed college and was working in her new field. Several months later, Tim called me and said, "You're not going to believe it, I just got a check from the insurance company and I want to re-pay you and Gerald for all you've done."

I said, "NO, NO, we don't want that!" I did NOT say what I was actually thinking, which that he might need the money in the future. He said, "Well, I'll call your brother and the others." Several people reported to me how he'd tried to re-pay them, but each had refused.

He could have so easily kept that money, and nobody would have known, and of course, he had every right to keep the money, but he instead wanted to re-pay those who had helped him.

A couple of weeks later, I was attending a funeral and a woman who worked at Community Action beckoned for me to come to sit with her. She said, "You know, I've been working there for 30 years and NOBODY has ever returned money to us until your friend came in and gave us the money!"

I said, "Kinda restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?"

See pictures from BuzzFeed which will restore your faith in humanity.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PEREMPTORY

After reading my BLOG article SHOPPING WHILE BLACK (see here) a friend called to remind me of an incident which happened to him when he was called for jury duty.

My friend had worked at International Truck and Engine Corporation in Springfield for more than 30 years and he was a Millwright when he retired; skilled trades people were paid very well.

He had been called for jury duty for the first time and he had completed and submitted his required jury questionnaire.

He told me that he was furious because of all the jurors questioned, he was the ONLY one questioned about INCOME! He asked me, "Do you think it's fair that I was the only one asked about my income?" I said, "Well, they can ask anything, but those bigots can't believe that a black man could make $100, 000 in a year!"

He said, "They thought I was lying!" I said, "You know they wouldn't want anybody they thought was UPPITY!" He was excused by the prosecutor with a peremptory challenge. He said, "He didn't want me because I'm black and the defendant was black!"

I told him about a time when I was called for jury duty and a black woman was called for questioning before me. The prosecutor asked her exactly one question: "Are you the mother of ......?" When the woman answered that he was her son the prosecutor excused her with a peremptory challenge. She became very upset and demanded that the judge tell her why the prosecutor was allowed to excuse her. The judge said that he didn't have to give a reason. She said that her son had nothing to do with whether she could be a good juror. She was very emotional and the judge had the bailiff to escort the woman from the courtroom. I knew her son's name from having seen it in the local newspaper for criminal offenses. I'm sure the majority of the people in the courtroom also recognized the name.