148 Some thoughts about using a cell while driving.

Comments

Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

State lawmakers are working on a measure to prohibit cell phone use while driving by anyone younger than 18 who has a learner's permit, or who is in the first six months of driving. It does not matter whether the teen is talking or texting, but like so many other Arizona laws the driver can only be charged if pulled over for some other reason.

A few questions for you:

a. What is the leading cause of young deaths? (ALL kinds of deaths, not just driving deaths.)

b. How many people die each year nationally because someone is distracted when driving?

c. Why do some authorities feel that the official answer to Question b shows less than 20% of the people actually killed that way?

d. How many nations around the world have banned cell phone use while driving?

e. Are they developed nations, such as the European nations, Japan, China, Korea and others; or are they third world countries?

g. In your opinion, why will the proposed law only allow someone to be charged if pulled over for some other reason.

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Bernice Winandy 1 year, 1 month ago

Tom, I believe that cell phone usage that requires the use of hands should not be allowed in cars. I believe there is a device that you can get for use in the car that does not require the use of hands. Using a cell phone (that takes hands off the driver's wheel) not only endangers the person using the cell phone, but also endangers anyone else on the road at the time. Take it from one who was side swiped by a cell phone user. Cell phones should be equipped with a device that automatically does not allow texting in a car!

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

Bernice,

I agree with you. I do not think it would be unreasonable to at least ban something that requires that you take one--and sometimes both--hands off the steering wheel.

Here's an answer to Question A for you.

The leading cause of young deaths from all causes is distracted driving.

Think about that one for a minute!

Any guesses on the rest of the questions?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

Cell phones should be illegal for all age drivers. Why pick on kids for everything? Stop them if they aren't doing anything else besides the phone. Either it is illegal or not. Just like seat belts. It seems every driver I see has a phone stuck in thier ear. I know where I would like to stick it when I see them. Teenagers have faster reflex to avoid an accident. Law enforcement should not be talking on thier cell phones either !! That badge doesn't make them a better driver.

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Dan Haapala 1 year, 1 month ago

One of the lessons I learned early on, was that all learning experiences go through a simple process called cognitive learning. When I was first taught to drive my dad took me through the process one step at a time. It went something like this.... 'Put your foot on the brake and put the shift lever in neutral. Pump the gas pedal once. Turn the key to on, push the start button. When the engine starts to run release the start button and rev the engine gently. Wait for the engine to warm up' (the guage told me). When everything was ready to go the instructions became more serious. ' Press down the clutch pedal, put the shift lever in first (back and down on the column). Take your foot off the brake pedal, give the engine a little gas, slowly release the clutch and move off. First experience, chug, chug jump learch die. Tried again and again and soon it moved from the conscience experience to the habit or subconscience experience and then I could shift down, change channels on the radio, talk to my friends and still double clutch to a stop sign and make the turn while barely slowing down. So, what has this got to do with some politician trying to make a new restrictive law? Just this, every new law, creates a new criminal. Politicans should be more concerned with trying to make the most use of tax dollars so that tax dollars can be reduced and government can get out of our business and let us pursue happiness.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

Dan, You are telling your age. (: Most teenagers now don't have a clue what a clutch pedal or starter button is.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

Dan, You left out the choke, or maybe you aren't that old.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

"Most teenagers now don't have a clue what a clutch pedal or starter button is."

"Dan, You left out the choke, or maybe you aren't that old."

Pat, try this: "Adance the throttle and retard the spark." 1935 Chevy. Two rotating levers that had to be set on the hub of the steering wheel.** Then, "Put car in neutral and STEP ON the starter switch."

Or better still, on an AMC car, "Tilt your right foot to the right while it is on the gas pedal and step on the starter switch. I hated that. It seemed unnatural.

** You could ignore them if you weren't going to crank the car by hand, but if you had to crank it by hand you could crank all day and the car would not start if they weren't set right.

"So, what has this got to do with some politician trying to make a new restrictive law? Just this, every new law, creates a new criminal."

Dan has got it exactly right. And it brings up an excellent question: When do we actually need a law about what people can or can't do?

I say that the answer should be, "When someone's actions are such that they pose an immediate risk to others, a risk so high that statistics clearly show that the probability of harm is very high."

So we look at--say--seat belts versus using cells.

If you do not wear a seat belt you are basically endangering only yourself.

If you use a hand-held cell while driving, you OFTEN endanger someone else. The proof is that "at least" 5,000 people a year are killed--not just injured--by people who were using a cell while driving. The "at least" is because so many people die in such accidents that it is impossible to get all the data.The number is suspected to be much higher.

Truth is, I don't know anyone who hasn't been scared by some coming right at them on the road, only to swerve away at the last minute while using a cell.

By the way around the world, more than 70 nations have banned any use of a cell phone while driving. That includes almost every nation in Europe, and even China, Japan, and Korea.

The majority of countries which haven't banned cell phone use while driving are third world countries where most people are still walking down some jungle trail and unlikely to harm anyone as long as they aren't mishandling their spears. But because of a powerful lobby in this country, we still have no laws about it.

This law? The one that the legislature is writing about kids? Ridiculous! Just for show. To keep us quiet so that we don't rise up and demand the across-the-board ban we need. The ridiculous thing about it is that, as Pat points out, those kids are far more able to react quickly than we are. They may lack judgment, but they are far faster.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 1 month ago

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I will state that I DO talk on my cell phone while I drive. I do not text, I am not coordinated enough for that and besides to text, one must look at the keys and the screen, thereby removing their attention from the road, and their hands from the steering wheel. I only look at my phone and dial my calls while stopped. I spend a GREAT deal of time on the highway going back and forth to Phoenix, and for me, it is an excellent time to catch up on calls that would otherwise not get made. And I do have a hands-free device. So, that being said, I REALLY do not need to be chastised or told how dangerous my actions are. I am an adult and can therefore make my choices based on my experience.

My contribution to this discussion is to point out that there are MANY things people do while driving that distract their attention from the task at hand: applying make-up, eating, smoking, talking with their passenger and/or their children, switching radio channels or cd's, adjusting climate controls, programming gps, looking for road signs, so many other things, there is not room or time to mention. As Dan points out, "So, what has this got to do with some politician trying to make a new restrictive law? Just this, every new law, creates a new criminal." EXACTLY!!! Lawmakers can criminalize every activity that people do when behind the wheel that may distract them, but the fact remains, as long as our lives are busy and multi-tasking is the norm, rather than the exception, people will still do them and take the risk of getting caught.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

My remark about the seat belt was that an officer is supposed to have another reason to stop you besides seeing you don't have a belt fastened. There are exceptions to who has to wear them. I am one of them. The shoulder strap presses on my pacemaker. I carry a copy of the law and a letter from my dr. so I am legal. That being said, I still fasten it across my lap. You all fasten up, put away the phone and be safe. Don't want to lose any of you.

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Bernice Winandy 1 year, 1 month ago

My husband loves cars that you have to shift. Much to my chagrin we are the owners of one and he has been the subject of much abuse due to his love affair with clutches. Well, he did get his come uppance. When our daughter and her husband were moving, they decided to rent a U-Haul. Much to my husband's pleasure and amusement, when they returned with the truck my daughter was driving and her husband was in the passenger's seat. Seems her husband didn't know how to drive with a clutch and the truck had -- well, I guess you know. That incident took place 15 years ago. My husband still points out the useful skill he has passed down to his children and me, whenever I start cursing that *&)(^&^%(&% clutch.

p.s. cars without automatic transmission are not always easy to find.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 1 month ago

Funny thing Bernice, I managed to go 50 years without ever learning to drive a manual transmission. Not for lack of trying. There was a tremendous number of people throughout my life who were positive that they were the one person who could teach me. They were never successful. Finally, my husband decided that it was time I learned and no two ways about it. He bought me a small standard shift car and we went out for a lesson. Turns out that I am much more mechanical minded than even I knew. He was the first person to explain how a clutch and gears and the transmission work in sync. That was all I needed! I was driving that manual transmission and shifting gears like a pro, smooth as could be, in just a few hours, even on the hills!! Within 6 months or so, we sold that car and bought a convertible, manual shift, Mazda MX-5. Holy cow!! That was one of the funnest cars that I have ever driven in my life!! Shifting those gears, I felt like Danica Patrick!! And, oh my, put the top down, sublime!!! We have since sold the Mazda as it was not practical for up here in the mountains and I needed more room. However, I now have a skill that is never really lost and could prove beneficial in a pinch.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

Kim,

Wait till you do what I did: drive for eighteen years in cars with automatic transmissions and then hop in a truck with a standard transmission. It doesn't take long to get back into the swing, but it DOES take a few minutes, and those few minutes are something to laugh about. :-)

My little GMC has a stick shift because I was determind to get rid of everything I really did not need. No automatic transmission. No electric door locks. No fancy steering wheel. No electric anything. Consequently it gets 28 miles to the gallon driving up and down these hills up here, as opposed to my little Tracker, which gets about 22.

As for using a cell while driving, I have no problem with someone using a hands-free device. In fact, I have not the slightest doubt that the statistics that we so often see telling us that one is as dangerous as the other are plain BS put out by lobbyists who do not want cell phone use in cars banned. Talking to someone on the phone if you don't have to hold it in your hand is no more distracting than talking to someone in the car. What's the difference? You have your hands on the steering wheel, you're watching what you're doing, and you're talking. So what? I've driven all the way across the country, and half or two thirds of the way, I do not know how many times--well over a dozen. Were we supposed to be little mummies all the way?

Unless you're like my brother in law. He can't drive and talk to you unless he turns and looks at you. I have quit ever letting him drive. He scares the hell ouit of me. I'd rather pay for the gas than get in a car with him. How he is still alive I do not know.

Just out of curiosity, did your hands-free phone come with the car or what? I'm a little out of date on such things. My cell is not only not a "smart phone," it probably falls into the class of "dumb phones" by now. I only use it when I go to town once a week. It is strictly for someone to call me if Lolly has a problem.

But this crap has got to stop. Twice I have almost been run off 87 by someone with a cell in his hand. The second time, I thought I was going to have to head off into the canyon. I thought about it afterwards and made up my mind that I am NOT going to drive off the road, kill myself, and let some idiot say, "I don't know what happened. Maybe he had a heart attack." I am going to whip the wheel right and then left, aiming straight for the driver's side door with my left front wheel. That's the safest thing to do and I plan to come home to Lolly in one piece. I've survived two crashes like that where I had no way out because of some dummy. Both times I was lucky. The worst I sustained was a broken neck when a drunk appeared in front of me at night with his lights off, crossing a freeway at 65 mph. I can survive a third one--but not by running off the road into a tree, an abutment, or a 100 foot drop into a canyon. It's a harsh choice, but I plan to be around as long as Lolly needs me.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

As for Mazdas, you haven't seen a Mazda until you see the ones they made at first. The Toyota and the Nissan came from standard Japanese brands, the Toyopet and some other brand I have forgotten. The Mazda is a newcomer.

The first car they made was a red three wheeler--two in front, one in back. The whole car was the size of a short fat golf cart about five feet long. One bench seat. Would only fit two people no matter what. The whole front hinged open sideways, steering wheel and all. It would fit in the back of a large pickup.

One of the funniest things I ever saw--Lolly saw it too--happened one day when we were coming back from the base to our house out in the country in Japan. Our house was one of eleven that stood on a low, flat hill that used to be a coral reef. The 150 foot long driveway off the hill was perhaps six feet wide.

We were coming down the road and I was ready to turn up the driveway when I saw Aki and Randy in their tiny Mazda. Randy was apparently trying to teach Aki how to drive. Somehow or other, I do not know how she managed it, she had gotten to the bottom of the drive, at the point where an 8 foot long culvert ran under it, and she had the car SIDEWAYS atop the section of drive above the culvert, with a 5 foot deep ditch on either side. Aki was no one to fool with; she once gave Randy a nasty gash in his forehead with a frozen fish. As I came down the road we saw Aki whacking the hell out of Randy, obviously because he was trying to tell her how to get out of that mess without going into the ditch.

"Drive on!" Lolly told me. "Don't stop!"

I took her advice. We went a mile or two, came back, and found the little Mazda parked at their house next to ours. None of us ever mentioned it. :-)

The next model Mazda I saw was a teeny, tiny little thing Randy bought before we left Japan. It looked like a VERY shrunk down red edition of a British MG. It had--believe it or not--a chain drive. He still had it over there in California the last thing I knew.

I owned a nice Mazda red pickup down in the valley. Some 21 year old young lady decided it was too nice. She tore everything aft of my left front wheel to my door, and embedded my door two feet into her trunk (she was going backwards on the freeway at 65 mph). Took a piece of my seat too. The cop who came to the accident patted me down, saying, "Are you sure you're not hurt?" Poor truck was totalled. Both sides smashed.

But I'll say one thing. The fact that it had a frame saved my life, something that has happened twice in my life. I will not own a car that does not have a frame. No unibodies for me. Seen too many of them ripped open like cheap tin cans. I once had a nice Toyota pickup total itself on the solid steel bumper of my Bronco II, which sustained terrible damage--the bumper was bent in three quarters of an inch** and I had to slip one of the two license plate lights back into its socket.

** Never fixed it; you can't tell that it's bent.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 1 month ago

I always love reading your stories!! Thank you.

To answer your question about my hands free device: I have a Honda CR-V. The rear view mirror is called a "Smart Mirror", it has GPS, as well as some other things in it, along with the capability to sync your phone to it, so you can use your stereo speakers and the built-in microphone to talk over your phone. I can't do that as I have hearing aids and too much ambient noise destroys any possibility of hearing what is coming from the speakers. So I use a Blue Tooth type device that is part of my hearing aids. I have a microphone that I can sync through my phone, and I clip it to my shirt or collar. The conversation from the phone comes right into my hearing aid. Nifty device!

The Smart Mirror is actually an after market item that can be added to any vehicle. It was on my previous vehicle and when I traded it in, I said that the mirror did not go with the car!! Very convenient to have GPS right there in the rear view mirror. The screen for navigation is in the right 1/3 of the mirror.

As for the Mazda, I LOVED that little MX-5. It handled like a little slot car, shifting was smooth and the clutch was a dream. But, I do a lot of volunteer work, and at the time I was doing much of it in the valley. I needed more room to tote all of my stuff back and forth, and the MX-5 just didn't have it. Besides, my husband has a Corvette and one of us needed a practical car!!

Since you shared your fun stories, I will as well. As I said, my husband bought a little car for me to learn the manual transmission on. My learning was going quite well, although, I was still rather intimidated by stopping on a slope. So, of course, I get stopped at an intersection here in town which goes uphill. I am sitting at the red light, and what do you know, a young woman pulls up behind me, and eases up so close to my behind that I can't even see the front of her car! I start sweating. Hubby says to just give it a little gas and slowly let the clutch out, he says, "you'll feel it grab". So I am sitting there easing the clutch out and giving a little gas to keep from rolling backward, the light turns green and I am so worried about rolling backward and "front-ending" her, that I give a little too much gas, shoot through the intersection burning rubber, in a tiny, Hyundai Accent!!

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

First stick I drove at 18 was a VW bug while living in Germany. On my first attempt after slowly driving off in 1st gear, my then husband said, "When are you going to shift?" I was like, what!! Well, it took a little time but I eventually got it. After that it was a 1970 Fiat Spider that we brought back to the States. Haven't really driven a stick since but when I was learning to ride a motorcycle 40 years later, the stick shift experience sure came in handy.

I'm partial to my Ford Explorer now. I'm sure that what I have will handle the roads in Payson nicely. My motorcycle skills, not so much being a flatlander. I'm with Kim on the slow backward slip into the vehicle behind you. On a motorcycle even worse. I'll stick with the cage for now.

Where I live now you can't sit at a red light without seeing every turning vehicle with the driver on the cell while making the turn. I don't cell or text while driving. I learned the lesson 25 years ago when my then husband was rear ended while sitting at a red light by a woman talking on her cell. It was life altering for him and my family. The aftermath of a distracted driver can be devastating. Too often, you have to experience it to get it.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

"...when I traded it in, I said that the mirror did not go with the car!!"

Smart love. Sounds like something i'd love. I'm a little bit outof things these days. Never get to see any commercials, and believe it or not they do kinda sorta educate us.

"...shoot through the intersection burning rubber, in a tiny, Hyundai Accent!!"

I can believe that. My teeny tiny little Renault 4 CV, in which you could not open a regular newspaper in the front seat, had a teeny tiny little stick shift that I could run with just my fingertips it was so small, but that crazy little sucker was geared in such a way that it would outrun anything from zero to nineteen miles an hour. :-)

As to that "roll back and get the guy behind me feeling?" Boy! Have I ever had that a couple of times.

"On a motorcycle even worse."

Oh, wow! I never thought of that. Some of those bikes weigh a ton.

Your husband too, huh?

One day I was stopped at a t-intersection in my little Renault, which was after all five feet high and four feet wide and some crazywoman ran into me at 30 mph. When I got out and walked around to her she said, "I didn't see you."

I'd hate to be a pedestrian in her town! :-)

Susan, if you drive on 87 between Pine and Payson watch yourself. I swear that on some days every other person coming out of Payson must say, "Okay. Open road. Time for a phone call." But they forget the curves on that road.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

I learned to drive and shift gears on a John Deere tractor pulling a hay wagon. 10 yrs old. Top that one. (: Growing up and living in and around Payson gave me an advantage.

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

"Susan, if you drive on 87 between Pine and Payson watch yourself. I swear that on some days every other person coming out of Payson must say, "Okay. Open road. Time for a phone call." But they forget the curves on that road."

I really haven't driven beyond Payson. Every outing on the surrounding roads will be an adventure. I'm just getting comfortable with cage driving 87 to/from Phoenix. I've tried to draw on my experience of driving in Germany but it's hard getting that back after so many years.

I made the hard decision not to bring my beautiful bike to Payson. Everyone here thinks I'm nuts for selling it before the move but in the long run I think it was a wise decision. As I ease into Payson living........we'll see. Getting into motorcycling at a later age was a real thrill and I loved it. I'm sure once I settle in I'm going to miss doing it. Having ridden these past 5 years has given me an awareness while driving the car that I didn't really have before. I'll do my best on Payson roads to be safe. Maybe a sign in the window saying.....new to Payson roads. "Beware"!

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

"I made the hard decision not to bring my beautiful bike to Payson."

I made exactly the same decision--except that my "bike" was a Raleigh. I used to love riding that thing over in England. Used to do a circuit of 16 miles every day, five days a week. But I gave it up when I came back to the States; I really wanted to live a few more years.

My son, David, used to ride a bike in the Valley. He got around on it better and faster than he would have in his pickup. But he finally gave it up. He just decided that someone was going to nail him some day. I was glad he quit riding it. I get so lockjawed watching people drive around bikes that I swear I'd like to have a quad-50 mounted on my roof at times.

People just do not understand that a bike cannot stop the way a car can. And they expect bikers to be able to maneuver out of trouble to make up for their lousy driving. While I was over in Okinawa I watched my best friend have to step off his bike one day to avoid being hit by an idiot who pulled out of a crossroad right in front of him. I thought Randy was a dead man. He was only doing about 25 in the city, and when the jerk came right at him he just calmly stepped off and let the bike go. The bike was trash, but Randy just slid along on his boots and came to a halt like it was something you do every day.

That was when he bought that little three wheel Mazda car I mentioned a few days ago. He just decided it was too dangerous to keep riding.

"Maybe a sign in the window saying.....new to Payson roads. "Beware"!"

I wouldn't. Some dummy will run into you trying to read it. :-)

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

Now you're scaring me, Tom!! Can it be any worse than driving in Chicago! I certainly wouldn't want to stand out where someone wants to toy with me on the road....but from the sound of it, not having a cell phone to my ear may be a dead giveaway, too.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

Susan,

I'm answering this for two reasons:

a. You cracked me up.

b. I had to run a test on the forum.

c. Because I can't count up to three.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 1 month ago

Tom, You delight me in so many ways!! Thank you!!

Pat, That is quite an accomplishment!! Good for you!!

Susan, I shouldn't admit this, but, I moved to Payson from Southern California. Payson, and even Phoenix, driving is truly nothing, compared to a big city, like L.A. or Chicago. You will be fine. Too bad you sold your bike, the m/c riding here is truly spectacular. The first time we rode ours through Oak Creek Canyon, I wept at the beauty. Truly incomparable.

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

Kim,

Now you're making me cry!! My saving grace: I still have my gear!

Tom, you are a hoot.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks, guys. Sometimes I have to laugh or I would cry.

Back in the Air Force we had a saying that always made people smile: "There's no use taking life too seriously; you can't get out of it alive."

What you said took me back a long way, all the way back to the early 70's in England. I was stationed in the Midlands, perhaps the most beautiful part of England. I always made the daily circuit on my bike four miles longer than it had to be so that I could just dawdle over the last four miles. And on weekends I would sometimes travel a road I had not seen before. My bike had its gear shift in the rear hub. It was not a derailleur like most bikes. (The shift was in my right hand grip. Just stop pedaling momentarily, and twist the grip left/right for up or down one gear.) Sometimes on a long level country road I would quit pedaling and just let the bike sail along with nothing but the wind and sun on my face and the tiny, barely audible tik-tik-tik of the pawl in the rear hub the only sound in the world. It was something to experience. The peace. The tranquility. The utter silence. The solitude. The sense of being a part of the world, not just an observer. It's a feeling I'll never forget.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

I have several friends that bought motorcyles after they were 60 and ride them all the time. One rode his to Maryland and back about 5 yrs ago. Went to California a few months ago alone and he is about 78 now. Don't give up your toys. Enjoy what you can while you can. I still have my water ski. No boat, but couldn't give up the ski.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm with you, Pat. I may not have been hiking in ten years, but I've still got my shoes and I plan to wear them right to the grave. .

.

.

.

. With an occasional change of socks. :-)

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

I may not have my bike in Payson but I'll have my camping gear, hiking boots, and bicycle to keep me moving. Jeez.......last time I wore my cowboy boots was for 2 steppin! Maybe I'll dust em off and get moving again. Ha!

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm hoping that the new town plan will include a move back to a more western image for Payson. I think it would help Payson a lot. If the new hotel that is planned to go with the ASU campus, when it ever gets here, includes a dance floor it might be something that attracted more people here to enjoy a country and western weekend, including horse trails, square dancing, an emphasis on our Zane Grey heritage, and such.

Would be nice.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

A good place to dance would be great. At one time there were 4 dance places on downtown Main St. The Elks club. Pioneer Bar, Oxbow and the Elks Bar,cafe and dance hall. When it was intermission at one you walked a couple hundred feet or less and you were at the next dancing place. Oh what fun ! During rodeo weekend they were all packed. We didn't have to dance in the street. They had great wood floors. Great western music, not the crap they call western now.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

"Great western music, not the crap they call western now."

When I was living in Texas, in the eight years before I came here in 1983, I surprised myself by becoming a BIG fan of C&W, so much so that I was offered a job at the C&W radio station there when one of their regulars retired. I didn't take it because I really loved what I was doing and had started something I had to finish. I had been allowed to create a chemistry course taught in a unique way, one that dragged in 120 kids more each year than had taken chemistry before and taught them far more than a standard course--as shown by how well they did on the district test. I just couldn't give that up at that moment; it was just the first year of the course. It broke my heart to turn down that offer though. They told me I had an ideal radio voice and I would have loved spinning those disks. I'd have given it up a couple of years later, after I had proved my point, but by then it had become possible to move here and the whole thing became moot.

I was no C&W fan when I was young, or even all through my adult life. I loved mainstream music and was always listening to the radio. Must have taken after my mother, I guess. She went around the house singing all day when I was a kid, and as a result I can tell you the words to, and sing, songs that were popular before WWI.

However, when popular music took a wrong turn in the late 60's and early 70's, toward trash that in my opinion is not truly music, but is amateur stuff that anyone can write or sing without much talent, and is often more annoying than enjoyable, I began twisting the dial, found C&W that was still music, liked it, and was hooked. It was the last remaining "music" on the air until the past decade or so, when it too became polluted by the stuff we now hear. Too bad!

Some day there will be a return to actual music. The pendulum always swings back.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

But as for some dance floors in Payson, what Pat says makes a good point, doesn't it? Four dance places in a tiny little town like the Payson of those days? And none now?

Think of the opportunity we are missing!!

Here's how you attract tourists: You don't offer more of the same. That, they can get at home. You offer what they haven't got. People don't travel to New York City to see another city. They go there to see the Statue of Liberty. They go there to see what they haven't got! And we have what people haven't got--or we will have if we exploit what Payson once was.

There are four million people down there in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, four million people just dying to get out of that heat, just dying to see something more than cactus rocks, and dust, just dying to spend their money somewhere. And here we sit, only 125 miles away, on the upslope, the very first town of any size on the way up to the cool and green of the Rim, a place that could become renowned right across the nation for its western atmosphere, as a place where the Old West still lives, as a place Zane Grey lived in and wrote about, a place overflowing with natural beauty and western history, a place with an assured 100 year water supply.

We have a chance, right now, before we build out, to build right.

Let's do it!

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

My 2 steppin days were done at an American Legion hall in a small town in Indiana. I'm surprised to hear Payson's clubs don't have this for the locals and visitors. Friday night fish fry, regular poker nights, bingo? There's nothing like this going on in town??

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

Susan, Friday night fish fries at almost all the restaurants, bingo and poker at the Casino. Poker is illegal in the bars in Arizona. Some may do it, I don't know. Quit checking out what the other bars were doing when I sold mine at Punkin Center. Tonto Basin to newcomers.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

Why is poker illegal?

So the casinos can make more money?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

Tom, The people that came to the dances were mostly locals, except for Rodeo time and maybe the 4th of July. The Elk's Club had thier dances for members.

We danced back then not the stuff you see on TV. Waltz, two step, jitterbug, polka and good old Payson Stomp.

I was told by the liquor dept. that poker was gambling and gambling is illegal in Ariz. except for the casinos or if you do it in your home.
I had let some men play poker in my bar and the liquor dept said I was making money off it. I wasn't because I did not charge them or take any of the winnings. They didn't drink alcohol when they were playing so I was paying a bartender to carry them water, coffee and free popcorn.

Poker runs are also illegal. Any game of chance. A game has to have players that have a skill like playing pool, shuffleboard or something like that then they can make bets between thier selves, BUT bystanders can't bet on one player or another.
Unless the law has been changed.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't get it. I thought that Arizona was an individual liberty state, a state that let people be people. What in the world are we doing with a law against gambling? Does it apply to gambling at home too? Or is it just a business law?

(PS: I don't gamble. Never have. Only exception was when I was up in Iceland stuck in a quonset hut on a rock in the North Atlantic. The guys couldn't seem to play cards unless they put money into it, so when I was happy to be reading or relaxing--basically when I wanted to be talking to someone else--I used to join in.

Trouble is, they got mad at me after a while. I NEVER lost. I was never the big winner--well almost never, but I always won. I won so much over the months that the top of my foot locker was filled to the brim with scrip--don't ask me how much.

You what they used to say? This cracked me up; maybe it will crack you up too.

"Garrett!! You never gamble!! You always go for the sure thing!!!!!"

Well? Isn't that what gambling really is?

Anybody want to guess what I did with all that money?

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 1 month ago

Hold your hat!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just completed a study on cell phone use while driving.

The results? Wait till you read this!

In the past 30 days 7 out of 10 American drivers talked on a cell phone. And 3 out of 10 American drivers sent text or e-mail messages!

The CDC also reported that 39 states have banned texting while driving, but it didn't say whether or not the laws were being followed in those states.

What I didn't know--and maybe you didn't either--is that a 2010 study by the AAA had come up with almost the same results.

I'll be honest with you, I can see the temptation to answer a phone when it rings while you're driving, and that may account for a lot of cell phone use.

But texting? Who tries to type and drive at the same time? Are they nuts?

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Susan Daniels 1 year, 1 month ago

Tom,

To answer your question "Are they nuts?"

Yes. Which is why they have no thought of taking you over the edge with them.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 1 month ago

most of them can't type or drive, then you put the two together and smash !

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

A question for you. No, two.

  1. Why has the state not done anything about this?

  2. How do we get them to do something?

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

Been waiting for this string to wind down so I could say something.

Maybe I should have titled this string differently.

Something about driving while you're in your cell....

After using your cell while you're driving. :-)

On a more serious note....

While doing some research on hands-free devices to see if they can be gotten at reasonable prices I was shocked to find the amount of warnings out there against holding a cell against your head, especially one of the new smart phones. Even the National Cancer Institute is warning about them. I could not understand why we aren't being warned more strongly, but then I realized the profit motive is probably keeping the whole issue very quiet. Cell phones held against the head are a real danger. I'm going to put up a string. It will really make you think. This is all recent stuff--2012 or 2013.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Cell phones should only be used in an emergency. Since I got my pacemaker I have learned a lot about cell phones and other things I can not do or use. If I call on it, it has to be on my right side, at least 6 inches away from the pacemaker. Don't carry it anywhere on my body.
Can drive a car but not lean over a running motor in a car.
It is amazing the things that affect your body that we never think of until it is to late.

Nothing to do with cell phones but over use of WD 40 can cause heart problems. Had a friend that was a real health nut, ate all the right foods, exercised every day, did not smoke or drink alcohol. He built racing motors and used a lot of WD40, had a heart attack at 40.. Was told use something else, not WD 40.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

Huh! WD 40. Didn't know that.

Chemically, it is interesting stuff, one of the rare substances that are oily but will work to remove moisture from a distributor cap, for example.

Learn something new every day.

I've mentioned this before about microwaves, but I'll mention it again for anyone who didn't happen to catch it.

Back in the early 50's I was in a radar outfit up in Iceland, part of the DEW Line put there to detect Russian missiles coming over the North Pole.

Iceland is, of course, cold, and it's an annoying kind of cold--damp and penetrating. We had to have guards around the radar site and a 4 hour tour out there on some nights was really miserable: cold, wet, windy, and no sun, night or day (actually there was no day).

One day I was out at the site, ran across a buddy who was on guard duty, and was suprised to see him looking so chipper because it was a miserable day. I asked him how come he looked so happy stuck outside in the cold. He told me that the troops had discovered a way to keep warm.

Want to know what is was? Can you guess?

Right! The main radar antenna--a huge thing--swept around a 360 degree circle six times a minute. "Only thing you've gotta do," he told me. "Is go over near the antenna and stand there as it goes by. Couple times around and you're as warm as toast. Go try it. We all do it."

And no, I didn't try it. We knew nothing about microwaves in 1952, but one thing I did know. There was an office building there on the site, and at night when the fluorescent lights were off they would light up each time the antenna swept by. I knew a little bit about electricity and I knew that I didn't want that much energy passing through my body.

Imagine that! Those guys were microwaving themselves. Don't ask me what happened to them later in life. One thing I know for certain without checking is that every one of them had to have cataract surgery early in life.

Picture taking was banned inside the site, but some dummy decided to sneak in some flashbulbs under his GI overcoat. He got as far as the gate in the 6 X 6 he was driving. Then, as the gate guard told me, "Geez! The guy come divin out of the truck and hit the ground tryin to get his overcoat off. He was smokin like a chimney! Finally he got this pack of flashbulbs out and tossed them."

Yes, the radar antenna set them all off. They were big old dudes, the size of 15 watt light bulbs. He wasn't burned too badly, but the Air Force burned him for trying to break regs.

GI's are just plain nuts!

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