"Out and About"

Day that will live in infamy

Seventy-five years ago tomorrow, several squadrons of Japanese Zeroes woke up a sleeping giant by attacking Pearl Harbor. Dec. 7, 1941 has been often referred to as “a day that will live in infamy.” In memory of this day, the American Legion Honor Team will conduct a brief ceremony at Riverside Cemetery, at 1 p.m., at a memorial for Ben Shively, who lost his life onboard the USS Arizona. This ceremony is open to anyone who wishes to pay their respect to this fallen Three Rivers High School alumnus.
We recently had the privilege of attending the Mannheim Steamroller concert at Miller Auditorium, on the campus of Western Michigan University. It was an evening filled with exciting audio and visual effects. Like the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Mannheim has its own distinctive sound. The group is fun to listen to, but even more exciting to see in-person. The visual effects were amazing, and when you put the audio and visual together, you have an evening that you wish would never end.
I’m not a big fan of the evening news, because it always seems to be so negative. Even the weather portion. “We’ve experienced another sunny day with temperatures in the 60s. In a few minutes, I’ll let you know when we can expect our first accumulating snow.” Broadcasting like that makes you want to pack up and head south.
On the positive side of that, periodically you’ll hear of a story of some youngster who has saved his or her allowance for the past six months, and has decided to take that money and buy Christmas gifts for those less fortunate. The child doesn’t do this because of coaching from the parents, but because that child somehow knows the great feeling one can get by giving rather than receiving. There’s a lesson here that should be learned by parents. Take time to listen and talk with your children. You might actually learn something.
While keeping this column on a positive note, I’ve learned of an eating establishment that cares about their employees, especially the wait-staff. We recently enjoyed a very nice breakfast in a village about six miles east of Three Rivers. Our waitress, Vee, lives in Mishawaka, Ind., and drives about one hour to work. She loves her job and said that her employer appreciates her and the other servers. They pay her less than minimum wage, which is customary, because the servers rely on their tips to get by, and a good server can do very well. Anyway, the restaurant makes up for the lack of good wages by treating their employees with respect and gratitude. They treat them more like family than employees. Vee is very good at what she does, and she obviously loves her job. We’ve noticed that Vee’s fellow servers are just as happy to see you walk through the door as she is. Oh yes, Vee is a single parent with more than her share of life’s speed bumps, yet she leaves those problems at one of her two homes. The other home is where she works for less than minimum wage, and you’re always welcome at that home. Thank you, Vee, for doing what you do so well.
Because this is the first part of December, and the real winter weather is still ahead of us, I feel it’s time to remind everyone of two very important things about winter driving and your car. My father believed that it was a good idea to keep your car’s gas tank at least three-quarters full during the winter driving season. This would prevent unwanted moisture from building up. Now gasoline is wet, so there’s moisture in there already, so I never fully understood his thinking, but in his memory, I’ve always tried to keep my fuel gauge closer to the full mark than to the half-full designation.
Here’s a final hint that might save your life. While driving in rain, fog, snow or dark of night, drive with your headlights on. You might think that you can see just fine, but can other cars see you? Don’t take the chance of meeting your fellow drivers by accident.
See you Out and About!
Norm Stutesman resides in Three Rivers with his wife and cat. He receives mail at P.O. Box 103 in Three Rivers.

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