Weather Forecast


Talking It Over -- Driving in Morris can be Crazy

On Wednesday, I came to Morris for the Crazy Days sales, food and activities. It was a lot of fun and very different from the Crazy Days of my younger years. There are still lots of great buys, but what ever happened to the 'crazy' attire that the merchants used to wear? It just wasn't the same without the looney hats and clothing.

Crazy Days always makes me think of drivers training. A strange combination but very real to me. Nearly 40 years ago, I was a young 15 year old anxious to get my drivers license. Since we lived on a farm I could take my test at 15 and get a farm permit. I turned 15 in June and couldn't wait to take the behind the wheel training.

I was able to do that during the first week in July and then the day finally came for my test. I went up to Morris with my mom and immediately noticed a lot of extra traffic. We soon remembered that it was Crazy Days. I was even more nervous than before because I realized that I would have to maneuver through extra traffic.

I had reason to be in fear. The officer giving the test seemed to have a very sick sense of humor as he proceeded to direct me through main street several times, attempting turns with pedestrians thick in the crosswalks and merchandise lined up on the street. He didn't have to tell me when to do the sudden stop because I had several opportunities to do that. I recall gripping the steering wheel so hard that my hands hurt.

I didn't run over any of the hundreds of shoppers and even managed to spare the bargain bins and racks. I guess the officer thought I could then drive through anything so he passed me. I still can't go through a Crazy Days without remembering driving in that terrible traffic.

Fortunately, those heavy traffic days are rare in Morris. I am one who knows that at certain times of the day, like noon hour, after school or between 4 p.m and 5 p.m., the traffic is a lot heavier. I often avoid the main streets and make my way through town on back streets. I even get upset with people trying to make left-hand turns during these times because it can make traffic jam up for blocks.

Since small traffic jams like that make me nervous I guess I now know the reason why I dislike driving in bigger cities that have very definite traffic jams. A simple fender bender or even slow moving vehicle can tie things up for miles.

Perhaps this phobia of traffic jams goes back to that Crazy Day when I took my behind the wheel test. I made it through, got my license and learned a valuable lesson: Avoid traffic jams whenever possible and live a happier life!