Meeting the Glenside Kids and Twinkies Stay safe on road
With the start of the hit- the- highway holiday season having just passed, but lots more to come, it’s time for a reminder of the perils of drowsy and distracted driving.
AAA Mid- Atlantic reports that, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, fatigue causes more than 100,000 crashes a year resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
AAA estimates that 30 percent of licensed drivers have driven in the past 30 days when they were so tired that they struggled to keep their eyes open. In fact, one in 10 licensed drivers confesses to having nodded off at the wheel at least once in the past year, and one in seven drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 admitted the same, making them the most at- risk group, the AAA says.
Ragina Averella, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid- Atlantic, compares drowsy driving with more publicized drunk, drugged and distracted driving.
“Driving while sleepy or fatigued can significantly impact driving ability, causing slower reaction time, vision impairment and lapses in judgment,” she wrote in a news release.
To remain alert and avoid drowsiness, AAA suggests:
• GHWWLnJ SOHnWy RI sOHHS (DW OHDsW sL[ KRXUs) WKH night before a long trip;
• 6FKHGXOLnJ D EUHDN HYHUy WwR KRXUs RU HYHUy 100 miles;
• 7UDYHOLnJ DW WLPHs wKHn yRX DUH nRUPDOOy awake, and staying overnight rather than driving straight through; and
• 6WRS GULYLnJ LI yRX EHFRPH sOHHSy; sRPHRnH who is tired could fall asleep at any time. Symptoms of sleepiness include but are not limited to: • HDYLnJ WURXEOH NHHSLnJ yRXU HyHs RSHn DnG IRcused; • 7KH LnDELOLWy WR NHHS yRXU KHDG XS; • DDyGUHDPLnJ RU KDYLnJ wDnGHULnJ, GLsFRnnHFWed thoughts; and
• DULIWLnJ IURP yRXU ODnH RU RII WKH URDG, RU WDLOgating.
In addition to drowsy driving, the rush of the holiday season may lead motorists to speed on the roadways, presenting an additional danger. Then there are the distractions due to the modern- day propensity to use cellphones while driving, in addition to drivers eating while driving in order to save time from having to stop for food.
Holiday parties also add to the threat of folks drinking and driving, the deadliest mix of them all.
So, in order to have a safe and happy holiday, when you get behind the wheel don’t drink and drive, cut the distractions and stay focused and if you get sleepy, pull over or let someone else drive.
On Election Day I was the guest speaker at Glenside’s St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church’s “Over 50” club luncheon, and boy was that fun. I spoke about my book, “The Glenside Kid,” and found an audience full of other Glenside kids, albeit all of them over 50. They were very receptive, knew many of the people, places and things that I was talking about, and had some nice things to say about my weekly essays.
Don Stieritz, who had invited me to speak, said, “We’ve been here a long time [and] came to Glenside in ’75.” I replied that my mom’s family (The Roths) came to Glenside in ’74. He pondered that and said, “Oh right before us,” and I replied that the Roths came in 1874, his family in 1975. About 101 years “before.”
They asked me to come back next year and I’d love to. There are stories still to be told, and on top of that, they serve a very nice homemade lunch. I donated my honorarium to Hurricane Sandy relief. Please consider doing so too, it’s still not too late.
The beauty of our area is that the local business owners tend to watch out for hometown folks — and one such person is Jon Waxman. Jon grew up in the area and is a Cheltenham High grad. After Hurricane Sandy hit he announced he was donating 10 percent of his Lee’s Hoagie House proceeds one weekend to Hurricane victims. He chose the local Helping Hand Foundation, so in Jon’s words, “the money helps people here.” He donated $875 to the charity at a ceremony in his Abington restaurant. Abington Commissioner John Speigelman accepted the check.
Speaking about local business, back in August I wrote of a poor experience I had at a buffet in Abington. I com- mented how our presence there seemed to inconvenience the hostess. I also said although it had once been a good place to eat, now it wasn’t so good — mostly because it didn’t keep the food WUDys fiOOHG. :HOO, , GURYH Ey WKH RWKHU day and saw the “Sheriff’s Sale” signs on the door. That’s what happens in the food business when your cusWRPHUs fiJXUH RXW WKDW WKHUH must be someplace better and don’t come back. I hate to see people lose their business, but right now there’s a lot of that going around.
I’m kind of a foodie, so I was reading a couple of restaurant reviews this week and saw that people complained that “they had to pay cash” and felt that was an inconvenience. My parents once told me that if you can’t pay for something, don’t buy it. I suspect that’s part of the reason this country (and many of its citizens) are deep in debt. What was it Blimpy once said? — “I’ll gladly pay you next week for a hamburger today.”
Business on the national front took a hit as upwards of 18,000 people probably will lose their jobs when the venerable baked-goods company, Hostess, closes shop in a union labor dispute. Talks faltered recently and I’m afraid this is another instance of organized labor pushing its own members down the gang plank. Perhaps it started with the best interests of its workers at heart, but these things don’t always work out as they’d like. You might even blame the economy.
Speaking of Hostess, there was a time when people would buy boxes of Ho Ho’s, Ding Dong’s, Twinkies and other snack products for the box, not the goodies inside. It was 1975 when Hostess burst on to the baseball card scene with a 50-panel (150-card) set of current SODyHUs. 7KLs wDs WKH fiUsW RI D UXn RI fiYH DnnXDO sHWs, DnG OLNH PRsW fiUsWs, WKLs LnLtial one was the most popular.
Produced as three-card panels on the bottoms of snack cake products, these cards sent the hobby into a frenzy (remember, up to this point only Topps was making annual baseball card sets). And because some of the product line was more scarce than others, people wHUH JRLnJ nXWs WUyLnJ WR finG DOO WKH cards. There was brisk trading going on within the hobby as people maximized their regional access to certain panels.
Some collectors carefully cut them into single cards, others cut them out as a panel, while some purists felt that the only way to save them was by the box — keeping it completely whole. A near-mint set of the 1975 panels (all 50 of them) brings close to $300 today. The chase was ridiculous at times. People were buying cases of snack cakes, keeping the boxes and giving the cakes away (or, worse, throwing them away). I know of one collector that regularly went WR D ORFDO ODnGfiOO WKH GDy DIWHU WUDsK day and tore through trash bags looking for discarded boxes. Another, a farmer I knew about, bought cases of the cakes and fed them to his pigs.
The issues continued until 1979 when the last 150-card set was released. By then collectors had either grown fat from eating all those Twinkies or tired of the chase. Each year, 1976-79, a proof set of unreleased Hostess cards was also produced, some said it was to reduce errors, yet others said they had no idea why. But like all such issues in card collecting circles, some of those cards always escaped the factory. The 1979 sHW RI 20 FDUGs, LI yRX finG WKHP, are worth $600 in mint condition.
Hostess will always be a part of card collecting history. Now, clearly, there will never be another Hostess set. Good for the waistline, I guess, bad for nostalgia.
Ted Taylor can be reached at ted@ tedtaylor.com.