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Random redux

Not so long ago, someone asked me if I might have attention deficit disorder, based on the way I seem to stick so many different irons in the fire and oft get burned while trying to juggle them.

I got so busy with other things I forgot to answer them. Hmmmm.

So many things have been happening recently that it’s hard to focus on just one, so I won’t. Here, instead, are musings on several things from a guy who once authored a blog called ‘”Asynchronous Thoughts of an Involuntary Misfit.”

* * *

You haven’t heard a peep from me about the colored lights in the park in a great long while, even though I still get jabbed about it, as recently as last week. Odd how such an inconsequential thing can have such lasting impact.

So what do I have to say about them now? Nothing. Sometimes we editors do know when enough is enough. Other times not.

* * *

We got another road complaint from a north county farmer before Labor Day, and I dutifully hit the road a few days later expecting to find ruts the size of the Grand Canyon waiting for me. What I found instead appeared to be a new culvert, and I drove for miles on that road with only the bumps I’d expect.

I’d like a show of hands from those who are convinced I took the wrong road. Then wave; it would make a nice breeze, I think.

* * *

Watch out, Marion drivers. I bought a new bicycle last week. An old-but-new-to-me five-speed. I’m not sure how old it is, but I haven’t seen a headlight or speedometer like these since I was in high school. I like it. A vintage bike for a vintage soul. Vintage is so much better than old, decrepit, and woefully out of shape.

What I’ve discovered in a week is that I’m not going to complain about the roads anymore. I’ll complain about the gutters instead.

Now I understand why so many kids take to the sidewalks at certain spots along Main St. Decisions, decisions. Swerve into the path of a following car to avoid a gaping chasm, hoping my old legs can pedal fast enough to a spot where I can get back to the side before I’m run over? Or stay the course, take the hit, and risk blowing a tire or flying over the handlebars?

I’m certain there are folks eager to watch me attempt either option.

And could we please do something about those dangerous storm drain grates, the ones aligned in such a way that they could swallow a tire whole? We have lots of kids and adults riding bikes these days, and those grates are disasters waiting to happen. Super Dave Osborne, look out, here comes Super Dave Colburn.

* * *

Perhaps the distractions and lightheartedness of some of the above is really just avoidance for what’s been uppermost in my mind today.

Our neighbors in Peabody are feeling shock and pain over Monday’s tragic and senseless shooting death of one of their own, Ethan Schmidt, who moved on from Peabody to a career in higher education. Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi was his latest, and sadly last, teaching job.

It strikes home for me differently than most. I was also a college professor, and once participated in an intense campus active shooter drill. It was a sobering and chilling exercise. What happened in Mississippi was no exercise, and I can’t begin to fathom what folks at Delta State are going through. It’s a little easier to understand how tragedies like this affect communities like Peabody.

It’s characteristic of small-town rural folk to reach out with their hands and hearts when neighbors are in need, and I do so here, wishing for our Peabody neighbors that they find comfort, support, and some measure of peace as they work through their shared sense of loss. You’ll be in many of our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.

— david colburn

Last modified Sept. 17, 2015

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