Monday, July 21, 2014

Cop Stories And Making New Friends

During my drive home from work, I noticed a Montgomery County police car behind me heading north on Colesville Road approaching Four Corners.  I was in the left lane, but decided to move into the center lane to get out of his way.  As we approached Four Corners, the light changed to red.  Traffic stretched back from the intersection with University Blvd. to a median break for a side street, where I slowed to a stop.  Interestingly, there was a minivan on the southbound side attempting an illegal u-turn at that location.  The cop, who was still in the left lane, stopped to allow the van the opportunity to make the u-turn.  The driver of the minivan took it, and made the turn right in front of the cop!  I was right next to the cop, and I glanced over at him and he smiled, shook his head in disbelief, and immediately turned on his lights and sounded the siren.  The woman driving the minivan stopped, and the cop got out, smiled at her, pointed to the "no u-turn" sign, and just kept shaking his head side to side.

I am amazed that the driver of the minivan made the u-turn.  It was clearly marked, but I can only conclude she didn't see the sign.  I have to laugh, though, that the cop stopped as if to allow her to make the turn in front of him.  If he had blocked the intersection, she would not have been able to make the turn.  He set her up, though she still should not have made the turn.  She still broke the law.

I'm reminded of the time my dear Uncle, who was a police officer many years ago, shared with me a story from early in his career when he was on duty during a bad ice storm.  He had just turned onto a major road when he lost control of his cruiser and began to spin on the ice.  He ran right into another car, sending them both spinning around and onto the shoulder.  Once they were both safely stopped, and my Uncle got his wits about him, he checked on the cars and saw there was minimal damage.  He went over to the check on the other driver, an older woman.  She said, "Officer, what happened?!?"  He responded, "Miss, I don't know what you were doing, but you must've hit a slick spot and you spun both of us off the road.  Now, I'm not going to give you a ticket, but you better be more careful in this kind of weather!"  She apologized, thanked him for not writing a ticket, and they went on their way.


It was a rough day returning to work after our big road trip vacation.  My boss wasn't in a good mood, and though my mood was good at the beginning of the day, it soured as the day went on due to the ridiculous stuff we sometimes have to deal with.

I take a lot of pride in my work, and I believe the products we make are pretty great.  I was reminded of this during a stop my daughter and I made last week on Old Route 66, in Atlanta, Illinois.  We went to a Trading Post and got to talking with the owner of the small store.  He was a pilot, and he was pretty excited to find out my office is responsible for creating the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) charts that he uses as a pilot.  We talked about our shared love of these wonderful charts, including the amount of detail that they show, and he said he had an idea to piece together all of the charts that hold a piece of Route 66, and he was going to create a mosaic on the wall of his shop of the entire route.  I gave him my card and told him to send me a picture when he completed the project.  It was a really cool moment, and I loved hearing how much he liked our charts.

I've told my daughter several times on our road trips to get out and chat with the locals when we stop at sites along the way.  Getting to know them can create unforeseen connections with people that may prove beneficial in some way to either them or you, and even if it doesn't, you've at least made a friend with someone new.  It's a better way to travel, and something I really love doing.

And with that, I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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