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Wiser’s Wramblings-The Rest of the Story

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Hey Hornell: Consider a singing Valentine from the Maple City Chorus

By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels.

Following my column/story about Galen Stout last week I received several comments from those who knew, grew up with, worked with, or made music with Galen Stout. The personal comments to me were in thanks for writing Galen’s story. It was my privilege to have known Galen, and to have the honor of being able to share some of his life with Wellsville and Hornell Sun readers.

The rest of his story and his resting will be at his funeral to be held at 2:00 PM February 4th at the First Congregational Church of Canandaigua with a reception (in lieu of calling hours) at the church following the service. Memorials may be made to First Congregational Church, 58 N. Main St., Canandaigua NY 14424, or to a charity of your choice. RIP Galen.

February Milestones: BINGO has resumed in the Olean Times Herald (OTH) newspaper; Ground Hogs Day will be celebrated today (Thursday), Feb. 2nd; Valentines Day is Feb. 14th: President Lincoln’s Birthday the 12th and President Washington’s on the 22nd will be celebrated on President’s Day on the 20th. In order to get those “th’s” and “nd’s” to show up without being in “super script” I have to add a space after the number and then put the cursor before the letters and press the back space key. I don’t care for the tiny superscript letters unless it’s showing a number raised to the 2nd power as in . The St. Bonaventure Bonnies won their 2nd A10 game in a row played in Richmond Virginia vs the University of Richmond last night after upsetting Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on Saturday. St. Bonaventure University is the only “local” College Division 1 basketball team playing within reasonable driving distance.

Wintertime driving happens every year in our area. What makes it a “new discovery” every year then? Due to this year’s seemingly almost snowless winter so far, the number of accidents, especially “rollover accidents,” appears to be at alarming levels. Having the scanner on and being inside most of the time this time of year where I can hear the many “accident scene call outs,” makes it appear as if there is an unusually high rate of automobile accidents, many of which have multiple vehicles involved.

Sadly, a few of the accidents this year have resulted in more severe, multiple, injuries and even deaths. As I drove east bound on I 86 to my Barbershop chorus practice Monday night between 6 and 7 PM, the roads were absolutely treacherous. I wasn’t looking forward to the return trip if the snow continued. Despite the treacherous, snow covered roads, I drove at a sedate 50-60 MPH speed depending on the area that I was driving in. That, of course, just invited cars and trucks to go whizzing past me going what seemed to be their normal expressway 70 MPH. I wasn’t the only one proceeding cautiously as there were 3 vehicles that were ahead of me, and maintained that position until I exited at Hornell. When we took a break from the singing at 8 PM I called home to check on the current weather conditions in Scio, as the weather west of Hornell had seemed a little worse earlier. Snow had let up, so I remained for the duration of the practice.

On my return trip home, despite the temperatures hovering around 27 – 28 degrees the road conditions had improved immensely. The roads were wet but did not appear to be slippery, snow covered, or even ice covered given the amounts of road treatment that had been applied. There were significant stretches of road where the pavement actually was dry and snow/ice free, so I was comfortable at the posted 65 MPH. Just west of the West Almond exit I saw a State Trooper car, lights flashing, in the East bound lane. As I neared the Angelica exit, short of it by a mile or so, I could see flashing hazard lights in the road ahead. As I neared the large string of emergency vehicles, traffic ground to a halt. At about that time a State Police car approached from my rear and the car passed by and joined the string of emergency vehicles ahead of me. I assume the one I had previously seen headed east had gone to a turn around to get back into the west bound lanes.

Being halted in traffic for what appeared to be a long wait ahead, I called my wife to advise of my situation. She told me she had the scanner on and wondered if I had, or would, come up on what appeared to be a serious accident. As I waited in traffic, I could listen to the scanner chatter playing through my car radio via my phone Bluetooth coming from the scanner at my house. I heard the numerous calls for additional EMT’s and status checks for Mercy Flight and other Helicopter availability. Mercy Flight was headed in as was Guthrie, but Guthrie had to cancel due to equipment problems. As it turned out, due to the urgency of the timing, multiple patients had to be transported to Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, where they were eventually picked up by helicopter for transport to Strong in Rochester. From the scanner calls I knew that a Semi Tractor Trailor truck and a smaller automobile were involved and some patients had to be extracted from the car using the Jaws of Life to gain access to the occupants trapped in the vehicle.

Later, it was learned that the automobile had spun in the road several times and was impacted by the Semi. I hadn’t thought that the roads in that area were that bad at the time but it’s impossible to tell from my armchair or auto seat just what had transpired. My prayers go out to all of those involved. Within a day or two of that accident there was another very serious accident in our area that resulted in fatalities where a Semi and automobile were once again involved.

I’m not sure if it was the case in these two recent incidents, but when I pass, or am passed by, those large trucks on the interstate I hold my breath through the entire experience. As I approach one from behind, or one comes up behind me, I observe their “inability to maintain lane.”  I hear scanner reports very frequently where a “road sharing” driver will call in (legally, hands free of course) to report a truck doing just that.

Continuing with lighter notes. I am once again cleaning up previous noted comments for topics from my notebook. And, once again I apologize for any repeats, as I sometimes forget to cross the item off my list, and thus also forget that I wrote about it. I convince myself that I am repeating topics for those who might have missed them by not having read my previous article.

Going through a vehicle purchase lately brought to mind a long past vehicle sale negotiation with shocking, but surprising results. I was selling an “SUV Style” vehicle as I had recently upgraded. I had advertised the car for sale for $1500 “Or Best Offer” (OBO). A young local guy stopped one day on his way home from work to look the vehicle over. He liked it and thought it would be perfect for his family. He didn’t have a problem with the price but said he wanted to bring his wife over to look at it the next day, which happened to be a Saturday.

When they pulled up out front I watched as he, the wife, and a couple of “towhead” children exited their vehicle. The wife looked the SUV over with a critical eye evaluating every square inch it seemed. The kids danced around looking at, and under, the vehicle and their excitement was infectious. After a short period with the husband and wife off to the side discussing the purchase, they approached me and asked if I would still take $1500, it having been advertised “OBO.”
“No” I replied, and watched as their facial expressions turned from hopefulness to disappointment.

I don’t want $1500 and longer, I will sell it to you for $1000, as you can put it to much better use, with your family, than anyone else that has looked at it.

The joy that was on their face, is still in my heart.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Maple City Barbershop Chorus is taking appointments for the purchase of a “Singing Valentine” for a nominal fee, which serves as a fund raiser for Chorus expenses. You can contract with a quartet to go to a home, or place of employment to serenade the lucky, and/or loved, individual with a couple of songs. Contact them now: MapleCityChorus@gmail.com

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