My husband Bill and I attended the AARP Driver Safety Program for drivers who are 55 years of age or older last week.
Rev. Robert Elliot was the most capable instructor. We learned many things even though we have been driving since we were 16 years old.
Some people, including myself, become smug and complacent when it comes to driving skills, but guess what? As a person gets older, your body changes and those changes need to be taken into consideration when driving nowadays. Reaction time is slowed, eyes may not be as sharp, along with depth perception problems. Studies have shown that older drivers need more reaction time and most of those drivers will be driving slower than normal.
Some of the eye openers were about mall shopping. How many of us go to Mesa or Phoenix to the big malls? Quite a few, I would guess.
Here are a few tips that I learned.
When you put shopping bags in your trunk, and go back for more shopping, move your vehicle to another location before you resume shopping. There are unscrupulous people watching for just such an opportunity.
If you leave your car in the same place, they will pop your trunk and take your goods. If those same people see you leave, you are no longer a target for thievery.
Never be too macho to ask a security guard to walk you to your car if you do not feel safe when it is dark, or any time for that matter.
If you happen to see a parking spot near a van with a sliding door next to you, find another parking spot. That van may not be there to buy, but rather to steal your goods or your car.
A good driving tip directly affects us here in Rim country regarding driving in snowy or icy conditions. If you find that you are going into a skid, turn your wheel slowly in the direction that you want your car to go. Do not steer into the skid.
I also learned a valuable personal safety tip if someone accosts me. If you find yourself in that situation, fall to the ground, like in a faint. He will not take time to find out what is going on. If the offender persists to pick you up, yell FIRE! as loud as you can. So many people nowadays will steer clear of a situation and not get involved if you yell "help." You can get attention faster with the word "fire."
Shelby school news
The students at this public charter school are currently building a new tile project for the foundation of the original school house. This project is done by all the Shelby students and it features the word "excellence" to reflect their motto: "Striving for Excellence."
One of our recent graduates, Dinah Walker, has been accepted into the competitive six-week summer intensive program offered by the Virginia School of the Arts. Dinah has been a student of Yen-Li Chen, the principal ballerina for Ballet Arizona for more than five years. Dinah and eight current Shelby students, also studying with Ms. Chen, recently performed a recital in Chandler to standing ovations.
Another graduate of the Shelby School, Paul Silver, has been accepted into the North Carolina School of the Arts drama program. There were 800 applicants at his audition in San Francisco alone, and only 20 were admitted worldwide.
Marcel Jones, another Shelby School alumnus, has just graduated from Collins College, a graphics art design school in Tempe.
Tonto Village Fire District
The monthly meeting of the Tonto Village Fire Board will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 10 at the fire station. The meeting is open to the public and your input is encouraged.
Chief J.R. Alliger reports that a chemical has been purchased and is available to anyone in the district. This chemical will neutralize any unpleasant odors from animals like skunk. If one of your animals or yourself, need to use this neutralizer, call the chief at the fire station.
Chief Alliger is looking for people 18 or older who would like to attend EMT classes that will be offered at Gila Community College this fall. There is a grant that is available to pay for the classes.
For those who choose to take the classes, there will be a two-year commitment to the Tonto Village Fire District.
If anyone is interested, contact Chief Alliger at the fire station, (928) 478-4875.
Trina Houdek was the big winner this past Saturday at the grand opening of our new general store when she was lucky enough to be drawn for the metal art that was made by our very own Willie Nourse.
Willie is the owner of the Lazy Hoss Metal Shop in Tonto Village II.
There also were several winners of free ice cream and free candy. Congratulations to all the winners.
Mary Nourse, Willie's mother, will be 80 years old April 10. Happy birthday to you, Mary.
April 15 is quite a popular day for birthdays, even though that day also is infamous as Tax Day.
Connie Weldon and Bob Manning of Tonto Village III, along with everyone's favorite bartender, Bret Zekoff, will be another year older that day. If you see them around the village, wish them a grand day.
The Sunday pool games have changed the starting time to 1 p.m. The winners were Ethel Cain, Betty Koutz and Phyllis Mullen this past Sunday.
The ladies played Tuesday at the Double D this week. The winners were Kara Shaw, Judy Tolle and Patty Boeschling.
I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter. Enjoy being with your family. Don't eat too much chocolate.