Blinking Light Can’t Be Happy At Any Speed

Published 9:28 am Thursday, May 4, 2017

Those new blinking traffic lights in Bermuda Run are driving me a little nutty. Regardless of my speed, the signs broadcast “TOO FAST” or “SLOW DOWN.”

I dare not complain too much and risk the wrath of Mona Potts. When I moved to Advance 22 years ago I complained that the pell-mell, tumble-bumble motorists there drive too fast, unlike the more civilized folk in Mocksville where I had made home for 16 years.

“Move back!” she told me, maybe with a few more exclamation points.

To drive their point home, she and the leaders of the Advance Christmas Parade put me on an ass and rode me through town. They had said I would be the parade grand marshal and ride in a stretch limo. Instead, I was the town’s new jackass.

Be very judicious when choosing words to describe Advance folk, I learned. So the new traffic lights are Bermuda Run’s way of doing something about speeders. Perhaps I would praise their efforts if the signs showed any appreciation for my efforts to drive within the posted speeds.

The speed limits for both sections of N.C. 801 and U.S. 158 are 45 mph. If I go 45, the sign tracks me with a blue beam and blinks “TOO FAST.” At 40 mph, it snaps at me again. Even below 40, the preachy sign criticizes my driving.

According to the signs, I’m driving too fast at any speed. That bothers me … a little.

I’ll always be a Farmington boy, but the Advance part of me is growing annoyed with those new signs.

Love you, Mona.

• • • • •

Monday evening’s rainfall was an old fashioned gully washer. A frog stranger. A brief deluge. I was around some teens the other day who were discussing the rain.

“If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?”


Who says they aren’t learning things in school these days?

• • • • •

Young Michael and I climbed to the top of Mt. LeConte for my recent birthday to make sure the aging editor still had it in him.

That may have been my 10th ascent of the 6,500-foot mountain in the Great Smokies.

Down below we saw yellow trillium in full bloom on the southern sides of the roadway from Cherokee. On top of the mountain we found seven inches of snow that had fallen a day prior. It had been shirtsleeve weather down below. The final mile we had climbed in snow, some of it along a narrow cliff line that caused the heart to race.

We didn’t have long to enjoy our success. We had to retrace the five miles back down the mountain before nightfall. By the time we reached the car, these aging legs were beginning to burn.

• • • • •

To say it looks different in downtown Mocksville now that the massive oaks on the square are gone may be the year’s great understatement. Instead of the old familiar oaks, shoppers can get a suntan from the glare of the constant exposure to the sun. The cool shade from the trees is now a memory.

Davie Jeweler’s Barry McBride briefly considered chaining himself to one of the trees before the cutters came. “Do they looked diseased to you?” he asked, requesting a second opinion.

The two remaining oaks were certainly unbalanced with two other sections of the square missing their trees.

The town has a chance to start over. To plant four matching trees. To begin a new love affair with new trees. I’m voting for sugar maples.

— Dwight Sparks