Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Don't Bother; There Ain't No More Road

When I’d take the train from NYC to Stratford CT, I’d call Mom from the train station to let her know I was in. She’d say, “I’ll pick you up at the police box near Stratford Center.” Good spot, as all she has to do is make a right turn, another right and we’re headed back home.

There hadn’t been a police box there in –what?—ten years, maybe twenty years. The only thing left was the concrete foundation. We still went to the drugstore that closed its pharmacy some years back and was now a general store.

Today, I was walking up Jackson Street and, as I crossed North Franklin, glanced to my left to check for oncoming traffic. On a street that’s been closed for maybe four years and made into a pedestrian mall. Old habits, if they do die, die hard.

Radio people often move from station to station and I know the feeling. For years, I kept a 4x6 card on the control board with my current station’s callsign, city of license and frequency on it. The other announcers laughed at me, but I never came out with the wrong call, city or spot on the dial – an occupational hazard. You’re on the air and, in the heat of battle, you have to identify the station and you can’t remember where you are.

People sometimes ask me if they are having some sort of blank spell while they drive to someplace familiar. They remember leaving their house and arriving, but nothing in-between. “No,” I tell them, “it’s just so familiar you drive by habit."


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