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There was a big old commotion goin’ on out front of The Flat Rock General when I pulled up on Saturday morning. The Hatton volunteer fire department E.M.S. vehicle was settin’ there with lights a flashin’ bright. Ms. Ida was settin’ on The Store steps, she was holdin’ a large white towel or wash rag to her forehead and there was two or three of the E.M.S. volunteers a tendin’ to her. Course all the regulars were gathered around, including Slim, Essex, the Widow Cora, Farlow and Willerdean, "Truth" and Estelle, Bro., Harley Hood, S.R., J.R., "Hatch" and my Daddy "pop" C.C.

I questioned one of the E.M.S. volunteers as to Ms. Ida’s illness or injury, he offered a slight grin and referred me to Slim for answers.

Slim shook his head and remarked "them women drivers." Then Slim commenced to explainin’ what had happened to Ms. Ida. Seems Bro. had taken on a part-time job sellin’ them personal portable mobility units and Essex, Ms. Ida and the Widow Cora wanted to test drive Bro.’s demonstration model.

J.R. and "Hatch" helped Bro. unload the PPMU in The Store and Ms. Ida was first up with a test drive. As she started toward them big old double front doors she hit road gear, the throttle stuck and/or panic set in. At this point she did a Dukes of Hazzard straight through the old double front doors clearin’ the front porch landin’ in the gravel parking lot along side the gas pumps layin’ on the underside of the PPMU. "Truth was first to the rescue and removed the key at which time Estelle called 911 on her portable cellular phone, and immediately the Hatton volunteer E.M.S. was dispatched.

Other than a large pump knot, Ms. Ida. was checked out to be of sound mind and health, the only recommended treatment being no driving, bed rest and a strong dose of headache medicine.

The regulars and all the other area Flat Rock Folk begin to disperse at this point. I moved on into The Store to visit with Slim for a few minutes. He was still wound up about Ms. Ida’s ride and commented again about "women drivers." This time he started on some of his driving experiences relatin’ to "women drivers" recently between Flat Rock and "town."

I allowed Slim to finish venting; actually there was a very long list of she did this and that woman did this and—so on. I tried to level the playing field "woman, man driver" or vice versa, after six years driving across the southeast selling seed. The problem lies more with individuals, their cell phones and the ‘I’m in a hurry’ attitude, ‘I got to hurry up and get there’—rush, rush, rush.

I am reminded of the poem that I wrote soon after I personally witnessed the "women, men drivers" around the southeast.


The signs read "school zone
25 mph strictly enforced"
But, the cars are going faster
Please, slow down and be safe!!!

The signs read "hospital zone
35 mph, caution please"
But, the cars are going much faster
Please, slow down and be safe!!!

The signs read "work zone
slow to 45 mph, fines are doubled"
But, the cars continue to travel much faster
Please, slow down and be safe!!!

The signs read "state highway do not exceed
55 mph, radar controlled"
But, the cars are going excessively fast
Please, slow down and be safe!!!

The signs read "four lane highway do not
 exceed 65 mph, monitored by air patrols"
But, the cars are traveling extremely fast
Please, slow down and be safe!!!

The signs read "interstate highway
unlawful to exceed 70 mph,
monitored by detection devices"
But, the cars continue to
travel dangerously fast
Please, slow down and be safe!!!

Please, slow down and drive safely— 
maybe you could just leave a little earlier,
 "woman or man" driver!!!

Remember your heritage!!!
Always, think good memories!!!

Joe Potter is a former vocational agriculture teacher, FFA advisor, retired county agent (Colbert County).

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Date Last Updated January, 2006