The news from town is rather slim this week, although of course amusing and newsworthy events are occurring all the time. People happily tell me about spectacular car crashes and hilarious practical jokes, but always on the condition they stay out of the paper. This week, the birds are quiet, the dragonflies are scarce, and thus you will have to read about my not-too-graceful parking job at the Whallonsburg Grange and how I stopped traffic in Lake Placid.
I arrived at the Grange a couple of Sundays ago to attend the celebration and in front of a number of onlookers attempted a U-turn in a confined space on Route 22. I cut too close to the edge of the road and dropped the right front tire into a deep ditch - a very deep ditch - disguised by a recent mowing that hid its contours. The left rear tire came off the ground, and the car and I looked pretty silly. The crowd drew closer to see and took a fair amount of pleasure at my discomfort. There was gawking, outright laughter, and a few gratuitously offered opinions on my driving skills. Luckily, a fine young gentleman with a Ford pickup pulled me out of the ditch, allowing me to regain some of my dignity and enjoy the rest of the rainy afternoon.
Earlier this summer, I was in downtown Lake Placid, on a busy morning when the sidewalks were crowded and the street a steady stream of cars. I was going to the bookstore, and noticed a man, clearly a visitor, trying to get across the street. He was standing in a marked cross walk, obviously intending to cross, and yet the cars barreled right past him. He was frustrated, and I took it upon myself to help him out. I'm not a native New Yorker, but I've acquired some of the brashness we're known for, so in my best traffic cop imitation, I stepped off the curb and stopped one lane and then the other. The man made his way across while the car drivers glared. I gave everyone a big smile and waved them all on.