Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our 'Seasoned' Citizens

Last night, I stopped in Iowa at a small truck stop that had a pretty nice diner. Now I'll admit, when I sat down, I didn't realize I was close to 'coffee row' (one of the many names for the area) where the local gentlemen like to sit and just chat. I will say out here this is farm country so the talk did range around those type of things. Since I am a country boy, who grew up on a farm I can relate to just about everything they were talking about.

The talk ranged across the spectrum, minus politics.  From what I can remember growing up, I know most of the farmers considered politics a very personal thing, along with religion.  Those were two subjects you never heard spoken when they got together.

It was very easy to follow along, and at one point, I was asked to join the conversation when it switched over to whether or not one of them needed to get a CDL.  After listening to what he needed, I explained that at this point, it wasn't required since it was farm equipment hauling product from the farm.  We also talked about how testing had changed over the decades.

 One of the gentlemen had driven a bus for the school for close to 50 years!  With all the routes he had, hauling sports teams etc we figured he easily should have had over 1.5 million safe miles driven.  What brought that up was that he had to go and take a driving test for getting airbrakes put on his license.  He thought it was crazy some of the things that the examiner pointed out to him after he passed the test that he needed to look for.  We talked about how times had changed since he had started driving.

The conversation switched over to the current drought, and how people are calling it 'the worst in 50 years'.  Well, at least in Iowa they quickly named off over 4 other periods that had been just as bad if not worse as it is now. 

People tend to be pretty short sighted or forgetful on what has happened in the past.  The thing is though is that we learn from that past, unless we forget about it.  I tell you what though, if you want to know about the past, go find the local coffee group in town.  Be polite, and they will welcome you into the conversation and you will learn a wealth of information, ideas and history.

Try it, you never know what you might learn.

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