Watch while driving, some newspaper stuff and a call for help

By Don Rush

You have to admit driving the highways and byways around here these days you get to see lots of wildlife.

It doesn’t matter if you’re tooling down M-15, or up M-24, driving on Clarkston Road (which used to be Clarkston-Orion Road), Baldwin Road, Seymour Lake Road or Oakwood Road, or driving in any number of neighborhood streets, chances are you are going to see critters we rarely saw here 10, 15 or 25 years ago. I know it’s spring and I know I need to watch not only the road before me, but what’s possibly coming from the side of the road. While driving my head is always on swivel, looking left and looking right.

Already this spring two turkeys on different roads in different communities have darted out in front of me. It’s only April, and I have had to pull off to the side of the road and help a Painted turtle across the road. The white tail deer are still moving in the morning when I come to work, and I have had to stop my car while three of those modern day Pterodactyls (commonly called Ribeye of the Sky or Sandhill Cranes) slowly walked from one side of the street to the other.

You know what else I saw on the side of the road, twice? Beavers, two were smushed in Oxford on Lakeville Road within 10 days of each other. We must be doing something correct for all this wildlife to come back, so keep up the good work folks.

I think April is Pay Attention While Driving Month, so while you’re going to and fro in your vehicle don’t be a distracted driver. Stay off your cell phone and watch out for all those turkeys, Sandhill Cranes, turtles, deer, beaver, dogs and oh, yeah, kids. Watch out for the kids, they will be out running and playing.

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Last week I opined on my love affair with libraries. I know at least one person read that Don’t Rush Me because I got the following email:

Hi Don -Thank you for the great column about libraries and sharing your story about your lifelong connection to books and learning! I love the way you included multiple libraries and highlighted that every library is unique.

You used the word magical to describe them – I say that too and have yet to find a better word. The best part of my job is seeing people’s eyes light up when they realize how much the library has to offer, especially kids. Thanks for sharing the magic with your readers!

I just remembered … we used to get a fairly regular phone call on Friday mornings from one of the reporters at the Clarkston News when I first became a librarian here. He would call just after we opened, and I would help him do some fact checking before the articles went to print. It was fun because I never knew what he might ask, and it felt very important helping him get the small details right. — Julie Meredith, Director, Clarkston Independence District Library

Thanks, Julie!

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Last Wednesday night at the Oxford Township Board Meeting my heart was filled with encouragement. I was encouraged because there were over 100 people at the local government meeting. That is a good thing. I was encouraged because about 50 got up to speak their mind and over and over again they mentioned reading information about the subject of the meeting in their local newspaper, the Oxford Leader. I’m happy and glad they read the paper, it’s a good thing!

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Speaking of newspaper writing for nearly 38 years, I have shared my thoughts and feelings in the Don’t Rush Me column for just over 37 years. As a columnist I hope I’ve entertained, educated and have gotten you all emotionally involved. Over 1,800 columns have been typed up and put to bed, so I think it’s time to change gears a little bit here in the hallowed halls of Don’t Rush Me. I want to do more to connect folks – neighbors helping neighbors, communities helping communities. I want to write less of what I think and more of the good things that are happening.

To that end, I am enlisting each and every one of you to send me your ideas, leads and good stories. Thanks for reading in the past and for your future involvement.

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