TRIP BACK IN TIME

Tuesday I got done late with my last horse. Just rounding a turn in the road here was a 1959 Chevy Apache Fleetside sitting in a guy’s front yard staring me in the face. I just had to back up and take a picture. As I backed up, here the guy was looking over his yard fence. I yelled out, “Great looking Chevy”. He started out the yard gate so I parked, got out, we shook hands and started to talk. He gave me the low down on how he acquired it and told me about a get together of American car owners in the area. Of course I had to tell him my Dad owned a Chevy Apache, which we used on the farm, and how I learned to drive in it. I then went to talk about my first car – 1969 Chevy Camaro. Finally I had to go, so we shook hand and off I went. Now my drive home was a trip back in memory lane.
It was metallic purple with black interior. When I got finished I had rebuilt the top end with a 4 barrel carb, new headers, high lift cam, you know, all the goodies needed to get some more horses under the hood. I only had a 283, but I got as much power as I could get from it. Bought a set of deep dish slotted steel wheels (chrome finish), L60’s for the rear, 70’s for the front. Air ride shocks all around. Inside I decked it out with a brand new Craig eight track power play, with Pioneer speakers, two almost filling the back deck. I was real proud of this car. Also I had my CB radio mounted under the dash, my handle was “Purple Pirate”.
My best friend Dan had a ’68 Malibu. We soon learned girls took money away from the things we “needed”, plus it was much more fun “cruising “ down town Boise without gals, also a lot cheaper! One weekend I would drive my car, Dan would buy the food and drinks. The next weekend he would drive his car and I would buy. Great deal and was a fantastic time.
It was the ‘70s. The movie “Happy Days” had played and the TV series of the same name was still playing. Down town Boise was the place to be on a warm summer Saturday evening. There were two, main one-way streets at that time. Both streets would be lined with people, teenagers, young adults to watch the cars cruise the streets. Every once in a while a couple would line up and drag from stop light to stop light. I never remember any trouble, everyone was there for a good time. It was a fantastic time to grow up, have a great car and enjoy a good summer weekend.
It was usually after midnight when Dan and I would head home. On the way many times we’d stop at the Hong Kong in Nampa. One time we ordered a meal for “4”. The waitress didn’t want to order it for us, but we said we’d pay the rate for 4. She looked at us kind of strange, especially when Dan ordered extra portions of hot mustard for the pork & seeds. Later on as we sat back, after finishing a Chinese meal for “4”, the waitress came and shook her head in disbelief.
Yes, those were the care free days of our youth. Later on after Dan moved back, south of Portland, Oregon, I made a trip out after rebuilding my engine. I got it tuned up on the way out. I told Dan to find a good, straight road with no traffic, I wanted to see how fast she would go. The speedometer went to 140mph and I pegged it, so I figured it was fast enough.
I turned into my drive way, looking up I can see my dog Gabby came out to greet me as usual – back to reality. Slowing driving my VW Transporter up to the parking spot I collected my computer, phone, work calendar, opened the door and was greeted by a good looking dog. We gave our greeting and headed for the house. Yep, I’m back to reality, but it is sure great to have those memories in my head and get something to trigger them every once in a while, just so I don’t forget them.

Old Man or Lady Driver

Remember driving down the road behind the slower car and under your breathe you’re wondering why this guy is driving so slow? Yea as you found a place to pass you looked at the dud driving – it was an older guy with a beard; hat pulled down a bit to shade his eyes; looking straight forward and doesn’t really care who you are and why you want to go so fast, or that little gray haired old lady looking through thick glasses.

Today was a nice lazy weekend day and the wife wanted some stuff hauled off to the dump, so I got loaded and off I went. As I started out, I rolled the window down to take in some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine. I adjusted my cap to keep the sun out of my eyes and settled in for a nice easy cruise to the dump. There was no hurry, why should there be? I looked in the rear view mirror and could see a red car approaching rather fast, so I got over to the side and made room for him to go around – ZOOM – and the car was gone. I just shook my head and wondered why this driver was in such a hurry, after all it was a lazy, sunny day and no need to get there so fast.

I remember when I first started my farrier business I rode around with another farrier, John. He is about nine years older than me. As we were driving to the next place he was just putting along and he told me, “If you got to drive so fast to get to the next place then you’ve not allowed enough time between appointments.” As he was saying this, there were a bunch of cars speeding past me.

Most morning when I’m driving out to my first place I’m driving the speed limit – 80kph. As I’m driving,  most pass me like I’m standing still. I always tell myself if the cops wanted to make money they get their ass out of bed and get to work early!

Yea I guess as I get a little older I wonder what the hurry is. Looking around today I ask myself, “Why is everyone in such a hurry?”  Everyone and everything has to be done so quickly. So many people are trying to squeeze 30 hours out of a 24 hour day, but sadly enough you can’t! I think this rubs off on the family life as well. Mom and Dad are both working, shove the kids off to school, get to work, get home, eat supper, sleep and start over again. Where is the time to stop and smell the roses? How does this impact our society I wonder? Recently in the news the riots are showing up. I’ll admit people got the right to protest, but do they have the right to destroy people’s businesses and lives? Robbing, stealing, burning down businesses of people who have worked hard to get what they have.  And now in a matter of minutes thoughtless imbeciles see a chance to do what ever they want and not have to pay the pipper.  Where are the values of what’s right and why haven’t they been taught or learned?

Next time you’re driving down the road and you’re a little pissed because there’s some old guy  or little old lady ahead of you driving a little slow, just remember – you might be that old guy or old lady someday!

DRIVING

Well, it’s taken a while, but I finally got this driving thing figured out in relation to driving in a different country. I’ve learned it matters what time of day you drive, what you are driving, and weather will also determine what set of laws to obey. And then there are laws that apply to all the above.

Time of day is very essential to the speed limits. If you’re driving early in the morning, and there’s not much traffic, speed limits don’t apply, especially here in Denmark because the traffic police are not out that early, everyone knows that. I know this because many mornings I am on the road around 0530 or so and even though I am driving the speed limit, 90% of the vehicles pass me like I am standing still. It’s either there is an un-posted speed limit or everyone else knows your allowed 10 -20kph (kilometers per hour) over the speed limit during this time. I have not read all the Danish driving laws, but I’m just guessing all these people can’t be wrong?

Trucks have governors on so they can’t drive over 90kph on the motorways, so even on the normal highways they just do the same – go as fast as they can. I know this for sure as when I’m driving 80kph, the posted limit, trucks I see way back are soon right behind me. Now if they were driving the speed limit when I’m driving the speed limit, how can they get right behind me so fast?

Motorcycles are not held to the same laws as we are. I’ve come to learn there must be a completely separate set of laws for them. Their speed limit is – just go faster! It doesn’t matter about the posted limits anywhere. And this is all times of the day, not just morning times. Especially good weather evenings. The road in front of our house is awash in the summer time with crotch rockets winding their rpms to the max. Normally, when outside I can hear them as they top the hill about a half a mile from our house. Once topped, I hear the rpms start to wind as the gears are shifted to high. Screaming past our place I can never tell what type of bike it is because they are traveling too fast.  On the main highways it’s the same – varoom – and away they go. I mean, can all these crotch rocket riders be wrong?

One thing I’ve noticed that’s the same, no matter what country you’re in – traffic lights. We all know red means stop; green means go; and yellow means go faster! This is standard in the States and here in Denmark as well. It is nice to know that some traffic laws are the same. Holding a telephone in hand while driving, by the secret traffic laws is ok. Even though it’s preached it is illegal, I’ve come to learn it must not be. When I see the so called professional drivers (truck drivers) holding the phone up to their ear, well it must be ok. I wouldn’t think trucking companies would let their drivers do anything illegal. And I know it doesn’t apply to anyone driving farm equipment on the roads – all the time I see the right arms bent holding the phone to the ear while they drive. And I know bicycles are not covered under any type of laws. They can even have both hands busy doing the “send a text message” thing instead of controlling the bike. I’ve always wondered why I spent the money to get one of those hands free ear pieces so I don’t have to hold my phone while driving?

STOP signs are pretty much universal. There aren’t many here, but those I’ve seen and from observing the Danish drivers, I’ve come to learn they are more or less kind of like the YIELD signs. But with the STOP signs one might slow down a little more than with the YIELD signs.  YIELD signs, one pretty much takes the corner as fast as they can while keeping control of the vehicle. The STOP sign, I’ve noticed there is a definite slowing down, especially if there is a vehicle approaching from the left or right.

I have yet to see weather really effect traffic much. Fog is only dangerous if you’re driving a white vehicle. Other than that, it’s just peddle to the metal and go for it. I’ve been in fog so thick I couldn’t find my behind with both hands and yet distances between cars is never extended and speeds don’t seem to change. I’m guessing there is some sort of emergency type of system built into the roads which helps driver avoid accidents in the fog, or more and more cars are now equipped with radar! Snow and black ice do seem to have some effect, but this is only temporary. Once a vehicle has entered the traffic, there must be some sort of energy field taking over the situation because sooner or later most vehicles start to speed up. I’m guessing there is some type of energy field that is activated to effectively keep the tires of vehicles from sliding around. Boy, I wish I’d had something like this when I grew up!

So if you’re going to take a trip to Denmark and rent a vehicle, don’t worry – here you can do pretty much anything you want to do, just as long as there are no fender benders or such – so I have observed!