Meet­ing the Glen­side Kids and Twinkies Stay safe on road

The Globe - - OPINION -

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.

Happy hol­i­days!

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.

Ted Tay­lor

At Large

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