When Reality Sets In…..

This morning I enjoyed a conversation with an old and dear friend, retired Col. Ralph Biele. This conversation was prompted by a sale circular delivered in today’s Springfield paper detailing the latest and greatest offerings from my personal candy store, Bass Pro, also known as Cabela’s. This circular listed a number of rifles, ammunition and assorted outdoor gear that I no longer have a need for, courtesy of arthritis and the realization that immortality is the Provence of the Lord and only the Lord. If you have not already come to this same realization…..you will soon enough. Here is my take on this unavoidable consequence of living.

Police officers, especially those that are “blooded” by the tragedy they must confront develop a unique cloak of invincibility often referred to as “Image Armor”. It is this cloak that permits us to remain stoic in the face of unspeakable tragedy and remain calm when the breath of life has been sucked out of the scene we are charged with managing. Image Armor, of course, is a mental thing and creates a certain aura of invincibility, masking the reality that we are slowly approaching a day of reckoning that awaits us all. Police officers seldom consider their own mortality as we are often preoccupied with the immortality of those we deal with. Invincibility is stripped away by any number of considerations, most physical in nature, some involving the mind, which is perhaps the cruelest consideration of all. So how does this relate to a Bass pro add?

My beloved bass boat is reposing in a garage in St. Louis, owned and operated by a much younger couple in the pursuit of crappie. As I write, I am propped up in a chair with a pillow insulating my lower, arthritis plagued lumbar region from the chair back. Never mind this inconvenience, the discomfort is a stark reminder that launching a boat and dancing around the trolling motor on a tree lined arm of Truman lake isn’t going to happen until the medics can figure out how to stem the “discomfort”. The circular describes the latest aluminum boat package like those that elevated Johnny Morris from the days of selling terminal tackle out of a van to multi-billionaire. With decent credit, today’s crop of fishermen who have never given thought to the day when a boat will no longer be useful, can slip down one of my favorite banks and jerk the descendants of the fish that found their way into my live wells over the years. This same “discomfort”, read pain, has dispatched my Harley to the care of a younger man who I can guarantee is not thinking about the day he climbs off the bike for the last time. If you are one of my contemporaries and are still riding and fishing, God bless you. Do not, under any circumstance, take today for granted! The Master is not in the habit of telegraphing his intentions for us as we negotiate the life he has granted.

Below is a photograph of my 40th birthday roasting at the patrol Academy, many years ago! The picture is full of “Image Armor”……..

It has not been that many years ago that I stepped in front of rooms full of troopers, confident in my ability to disarm them and defend my handgun against disarming while teaching the art of handgun retention. Today, Sharon would stand a fair chance of disarming me by capitalizing on my sorry excuse for a back and thumbs weakened by surgeries. During this same time frame, I was tasked with discussing and conveying strategies to troopers designed to keep them alive in armed confrontations. I did so, often relying on a challenging, profane style designed to shock our officers into accepting the reality that death awaits the unprepared. I make no apologies for my approach, which was not designed to win points for decorum. When you are teaching police officers in a physical arena, you are going to be challenged. Losing when challenged is not in your best interest as an instructor. My number one asset during those days? An absolute reliance on image armor.

Today, my readers are either confronting the inevitable decline in ability that awaits us all or are basking in the glow of an existence that has, thus far, spared them the inconvenience of a significant decline in physical or cognitive ability. Memories are priceless, especially when the likelihood of creating new, similar, memories isn’t in the cards. My image armor has long since been replaced with the necessity to develop new pastimes and adventures that make room for a weak back and challenged hands and I am enjoying life aided by a wife who gets it and a dog who demands little beyond honesty and exercise.

Have you given any thought to the subtle changes and challenges that are emerging in your life? Has the reality of adjusting to these set in? It is never too early to consciously contemplate a strategy to manage the hills and curves in our lives. Attorneys live by the axiom that preparation is everything when going to trial. Life, my good friends, is the biggest trial of all.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


The Secret to Staying Competitive…..

Lately, we have become enamored with the television series, “Yellowstone” starring Kevin Costner as the patriarch of a beautifully dysfunctional ranch family in Montana. This is the latest offering on Amazon and is captivating in far more ways than the twisted and fascinating story line, the least of which is Kevin Costner’s ability to manage a galloping horse at the age of 64. We are horse lovers and have managed to own a couple over the years and I can assure you that staying mounted on a horse, or anything for that matter, is much easier at 24 than 64, (or 69 in my case)! (For those of you with wicked minds, I was thinking motorcycles…😉). Let’s have a look at the consequences of aging and the magic formula needed to counter the advantages of youth.

Professional athletes hit their peak at about 25. That is when the balance between physical stamina and tactical skill is most apparent. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but they are rare. In most sports, atheletes are no longer competitive as they enter their 40’s, with obvious exceptions being such sports as competitive shooting. sailing and fencing. To illustrate this point, there are only two NFL players currently playing football in their 40’s, Sav Rocca of the Redskins and Adam Vinatieri of the Colts. Both are kickers, protected from physical decimation by a page or two of rules that generally prevent them from being hit. For those into water sports, swimmers hit their peak somewhere around 19 or 20 before hanging up their speedos and towels. What we, as spectators, don’t see is the absolute dominance of older athletes on the training tables and in the whirlpools after a competition. Owners in the NFL expend large sums of money on ice in the name of numbing the so called “twitch muscles” of their older players after a game. Some of the old guys have more time reposing in ice water than aged polar bears in the Arctic. Again, it is important to note that freaks of nature do exist, thankfully, as in the case of Nolan Ryan, who pitched for 27 years and recorded a paltry 5,714 strikeouts. ( I met a ServPro employee after one of my monumental lapses of consciousness who played a little minor league ball. The high point of his short baseball career was standing in against Nolan Ryan in the grapefruit league, which he deemed as a wildly successful appearance. He said he looked at 4 pitches, three of which he didn’t even see and one of which he swung at wildly and fouled off. Imagine that, he said. I put wood on a Nolan Ryan pitch!). As a final illustration of the inevitable decline in physical ability, think a minute about the great duffer, Tiger Woods. The kids in the PGA these days can slap a golf ball in to the next county and there are a number of them. I wish Tiger the best, but he needs to relax a bit and start spending his fortune. Okay, we have now determined that we lose our “fastball” at around 40, give or take, and are subject to being humiliated by younger folks at the peak of their games, so what is the answer? Do we give up, become a shrinking violet, destined to stand in the crowd muttering at the prowess of the younger set? Hell no. We have two tools left, age and treachery.

When the Master crafted human beings, with our intrinsic qualities, he knew that we would eventually time out. Rather than design us to simply fold mid-swing, he engineered us to emulate all things in nature, that is we fade physically but benefit from wisdom gained through living. Age is comprised of expended time and experience. There is little we can do about time, however; experience is a commodity that can be put to use to offset the prowess of youth.

It doesn’t really matter what your career path is as it relates to the concept of experience. I once worked with a professional carry out “boy” at a large military grocery store. He easily doubled the earnings of most of us through his experience in that environment. He recognized the good tippers, could manage to find himself on their lanes and was charming when handling the groceries of the lonely military wives whose husbands were off defending our country. He was cunning, worked hard and exacted every advantage in the pursuit of profitability. This man was 50 years old, could not lift as much as the rest of us, and was not as fast, but through experience, could out earn any two of us on a given day. He was skillful in maneuvering the rest of us to lanes that were far less productive and even arranged signals with the big tippers to alert him to their approach to the check out. He was treacherous, in a friendly sort of way, and I studied him carefully. I had no idea at the time that his skill set would be advantageous to emulate as I began to decline physically. Age and treachery is at work in every occupation known to man, with those who employ it masterfully often referred to as ruthless.

Here is the take away. Age (experience) and treachery trump youth and enthusiasm every day of the week. The sooner you learn this lesson, the sooner you can hone the skills necessary to compete at this level. I may not mount things (horses and motorcycles…you folks are so bad) as gracefully or as often, but I ride more slowly and am easier on the horse. Still doubt the validity of this hypothesis?

Watch the action and commentary in this political season.

Have a great weekend!


Looking and Seeing…..

I have become increasingly disenchanted with newspapers, which have evolved from the business of reporting the news of the day to making the news of the day. That being said, I do enjoy the section in USA Today where they offer a sound bite from each of the states in America. This past week, after reviewing this section, I was struck by how little I remembered from this review, which in turn reminded me of a consideration that often has tragic consequences. I am writing today to remind my readers that looking and seeing are two entirely different concepts. Let’s have a look at the differences.

One of the tenants of good airmanship when you are a pilot, licensed or not, is the pre-flight inspection of the airplane you are about to fly. A conscientious pilot conducts this examination each time he or she is preparing for a flight, however short the flight may be. This inspection encompasses checking many things, from oil levels to the condition of the propeller and control surfaces. You check to see if water has somehow worked it’s way into your fuel tanks, the tires are inflated, and that birds have not constructed a bird-mansion on top of your engine….among many other things. This examination is relatively easy and is often taken for granted, which can have dire consequences if you approach it from the standpoint of looking but not seeing potential problems. It happens.

Another example of the disconnect between seeing and looking happens often in the case of automobile crashes. Assuming the drivers in a crash survive and are able to talk, it is astounding how many times an investigating officer is told by a driver that he or she “looked but did not see” the other car. This usually occurs at intersections familiar to the driver and taken for granted. I am sure that in most cases, the driver did “look” but it is obvious by the result they did not see an approaching vehicle. You see, looking is a function of the eyes, while seeing requires the brain to be working in conjunction with the eyes. Traffic officers are all too familiar with the disconnect between the eyes and the brain, resulting in bent metal or worse, broken people.

In the case of airplanes, conscientious airmen rely on a printed checklist of items to review before we throttle up and blast off. These checklists are time consuming, however critical to the safe operation of an airplane. In the commercial flying world, where checklists are viewed with the same sanctity as the word of God, missing a checklist item in a flight review is sure to gain you time with the chief pilot in a conversation you would rather avoid. In the automobile world, looking and not seeing can result in a plethora of consequences ranging from simply embarrassing to tragic. The seeing/looking concept is the reason we have stop signs, as they offer a driver a precious moment or two to connect the brain to the eyes, of which the benefits are obvious.

A mental exercise that I now employ when reviewing the USA Today state review is to recount the news from Missouri and the surrounding states from memory. I use this simple review process to remind me that is is not enough to simply look at something, although the news is often of no value to me. Before this mental exercise, it was surprising how often that I could not recall the news from Missouri alone!

As a final thought on this topic, police officers are trained to look and see as an occupational necessity. You absolutely must look and see if you are going to recall, accurately, details such as colors, dress, hairstyles and numbers as in the case of license plates. The next time you walk through your supermarket, try and recall the individuals you saw in the previous aisle. You will then grasp this concept in it’s entirety.

I suspect we all could benefit from tuning up the connection between brain and eye. This tune up is of particular value to those of us who have lived long enough let our minds go to sleep. Are you doing more looking than seeing? Think about it……

Have a great weekend.


Courtois Creek, A Gift From God…..

I have lived in Missouri since 1964, having moved here from Okinawa, an island now belonging to Japan. During this time I have managed to float a good number of Missouri’s fine float streams from the wide and slow to the narrow and fast, almost all of which are located in southern Missouri. In the deep recesses of a mind that has few deep recesses left, I store a number of life’s regrets and from time to time will resurrect one in an attempt to move it from the regret column to the accomplishment column. This weekend, for the first time, we found ourselves floating Courtois Creek in Crawford County, we being son Stephen and his two boys, daughter Stacey, with husband Tom and her two children, Sharon, Tazzy and me. Not floating the Courtois is no longer a regret.

Our outfitter, Bass’ River Resort, advised that conditions on the creek were near perfect and the weather WAS perfect as we pushed off some 6 miles from the resort. With Tazzy at the helm and Sharon behind him in an effort to keep him in the boat, we began the float.

The water was beautiful, gin clear and cold and the Old Town livery canoe the perfect place for Miss Sharon to rest her legs (😏)as she contributed a canoe stroke here and there. A perfect start that, incredibly, only got better.

Predictably. We stopped frequently the first mile or so to let Tazzy swim. There were few other floaters on the creek and Tazzy enjoyed swimming toward them to offer an enthusiastic Labrador welcome before being recalled and loaded up for the continuation of the trip.

We are not a nuclear family. Steve owns a contracting business in Colorado where he is the chief craftsman, overseeing projects that require the utmost detail. His medium is various woods, some exotic, designed for customers that, well, can easily afford his services. Time is what he has very little of and scheduling time together with a daughter who rarely looks up from her business on the LOZ this time of the year, and who is married to a service manager for a huge marina, is exceedingly tough to do. The Courtois is a superb float stream fully capable of draining the tension out of the existence folks establish for themselves these days. I am told that weekends on this stream offer anything but serenity and I can see why. The photos below are of Steve, grandsons Justus and Sig as well as grandson Lucas and granddaughter Kaelin. We were enjoying shore lunch at the “Log”. 😏

For the most part, floating the Courtois (pronounced coort-a-way) is going to require a capital outlay. Even if you bring your own boat, there is a charge to put in and take out and the campground will charge for just about everything from air for water toys to showers, (50 cents for 5 minutes). RV fees are based on the number of occupants on your site and there is a charge for each individual in the livery boats as well as a boat rental fee. This campground is well thought out with a section for normal folks and a separate section for the “loud” crowd, with their own quiet time between 2:30 AM to 6:00 AM. I am too damned old for the party side of things. There was a day though……

I feel sorry for kids who know nothing outside of concrete and asphalt. I watched a cicada emerge from the ground, saw many fish in the clear creek and enjoyed the thrill of navigating gnarly class 2 rapids with kids whooping and hollering as the spray hit them. Creek gravel in your water shoes and the occasional horsefly are experiences not found while gaming on a personal electronic device. As a matter of fact, there was no cell coverage at Bass’ River Resort and not enough WiFi to register on your phone. Our meals were simple; fat all beef hotdogs over a grill one night and terrific beef “sliders” the next with s’mores, (not my cup of tea). Fresh strawberries, fat pancakes and plenty of bacon made for a hearty breakfast. Stacey, Justus and Lucas ended the trip with a long ride on the outstanding mountain bike trail that has a stop in the campground. Stacey celebrated her 49th birthday on this trip and is seen with Tom over the beginnings of a camp breakfast in the photo below.

There are a number of take always here. You say you don’t know a gunnel from a sponson or a j-stroke from a keel? No problem, rent a raft that requires little more than staying awake as you float down the creek. Don’t have a RV, no problem, bring a tent, many of which you can easily erect while blind folded and under the influence. Don’t like tents, again no problem as they have nice cabins. You don’t need the skills of Meriwether Lewis to enjoy a trip down a float stream, cook over a small grill or camp stove or navigate a roller. You don’t need anything but the wisdom to gather your family together and enjoy time as you recall the experiences that are a part of what you are. Courtois Creek, a gift from God, is the perfect place to gather.

Below you see Lucas in one of the more intense parts of our float. Does that help you frame the benefits of a float trip?

Have a great weekend.


Hats Do A lot of Talking For Us………

Yesterday, I ran into a frail gentleman in a local eatery, escorted by his wife. He was sporting creased khaki pants, an ironed shirt and clean but worn footwear. He was the picture of gentlemanly conduct, soft spoken and observant as he smiled at the greeter recording his name for a table. He wore a ball cap that proclaimed his status as a World War II veteran, specifically in the European theater. His hat was telling a story even before I spoke to him thanking him for our ability to enjoy lunch on a blistering day in Springfield, Mo. There was a certain reverence about him and I am glad that I was able to enjoy a short conversation with this hero of days gone by. I am not sure why, but as we concluded our conversation he returned my appreciation for my military service, a keen observation as my past was not the topic of conversation. I suppose my query as to his unit in Europe triggered his confirmation as to my status as a veteran. His hat was the catalyst for a couple of vets to share a moment. This happening stimulated this musing about the unspoken words that hats convey.

Back around 2000, then Army chief of Staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, made the decision to place soldiers in the US Army in black berets as opposed to the more traditional headgear. The General was not a fan of elite units within the Army and sought to water down the significance of the Green Beret for Special Forces troopers and Tan Berets for our Rangers. It is rumored that President Kennedy was stirring under his eternal flame as he was a devout admirer of the Army’s Special Forces trained at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, NC. As warriors go, the Green Beret denotes a special kind of warrior that has earned his headgear much as a Seal earns the coveted trident insignia. The decision by Shinseki was subsequently reversed some ten years later. Another coveted hat in the military is the venerable brown campaign hat denoting drill instructors. Folks with a military background all know full well the aura that surrounds this hard earned headgear, specifically the conveyance of expectations that you WILL meet.

A good number of police organizations today wear a campaign hat, particularly state police organizations. Police officers endure many hours of training to earn the hat privilege and generally are considered to be “out” of uniform when they are not wearing their hats while in uniform. There exists much controversy within police ranks relative to the merits or demerits of wearing this headgear, but few can argue the professional bearing conveyed by the presence of a uniformed officer while “under” his hat. Hats that speak are not limited to the uniformed services…

One of my “trophies” is a simple flat brim straw hat that I bought while on an RV trip in Amish country in Ohio. The good Amish people are seldom seen without a covering on their heads, and these utilitarian hats are favored when outdoors working. For most of us, the appearance of one of these hats instantly conveys an impression related to a strong work ethic as well as an appreciation and adherence to Christian principle. You will seldom have occasion to question the Christian ethic of a person under this straw hat.

No treatise on hats would be complete without mentioning the venerable ball cap, which has been around a long time. Today, the brim of the hat conveys many identities, but one needs to be careful here. A flat brimmed cap, in certain colors might signify something entirely different for a flats fisherman as opposed to a young man in the inner city. Ball caps are intended to be utilitarian, but are often used to confirm one’s identification with a particular group or, as in the veteran above, a military past. A worn, red Dekalb seed cap, with sweat stains and an oil mark where it is grabbed each time it is picked up, worn by a denim and flannel clad man wearing dusty boots, is likely indicative of an individual who knows something about the farming industry.

Folks who are around emergency services recognize the venerable hat worn by firemen as a “leatherhead” now replaced by newer composite helmets offering better protection. Still the shape of this headgear immediately identifies someone associated with the fire services. The same can be said of the helmets worn by motorcyclists. If you think a bit, you can identify folks who value freedom and comfort (minimal skull cap helmets) over safety (full face helmets that are hot and confining). I am not moralizing here, merely pointing out the obvious. I have noticed a direct correlation between motorcyclists who wear minimalist helmets and the use of gloves when they ride. Full face guys are more likely to wear gloves than the minimalist riders, and hands are particularly vulnerable in even the most mundane of crashes. Check this out for yourself.

In summary, hats do a lot of talking about the wearer. A ball cap is almost always resting on my head, usually brightly colored denoting some place I’ve travelled to. My propensity to wear a cap is the result of many years wearing a campaign hat and…….honestly….to cover a head that is hair challenged. Removing the cap to sit down for lunch ages me instantly. 🥴

As you move about in the next few days, watch and see if the hats don’t talk to you!

Have a good weekend.


Time management….

There is a number out there, known only to God unless, of course, you have made the decision to interfere with the Master’s plan and select a date to exit this world on your own accord. I add this macabre thought in deference to the many members of the blue line that are choosing to deal with their misery through the “final solution”. But that is not why I write. Another visit to a doctor this week, for rather routine age related issues, has reminded me that I really have not done a stellar job of managing my time on earth. I suspect that I am not alone in the realization that misplaced priorities are great time thieves. Let’s have a look at time and priority.

If you are fortunate enough, and I certainly was, to work in pursuit of an occupation that is a passion, it is easy to ignore the possibility that you are missing many of the joys that life in the most prosperous country on earth offers. I am reminded of a story that a great friend tells from the heart. His brother called him one day and begged him to take the next day off and fish with him, a passion that both men enjoyed but often set aside to pursue their jobs. My friend declined, begging off as he had “obligations” at work that were, at that moment in time, far more important than a trip to the river. A day or so later, my friend’s brother was killed in a horrific vehicular accident. My friend solemnly declared that he had no time to fish with his brother, but could take the time to bury him. It is a regret he will carry to his grave. The trick, my dear readers, is to avoid creating regrets by not thinking through your priorities in life.

I have always greatly admired folks who can walk out and safely and competently climb into an airplane and soar above the chaos of earth. I have another friend who is near the end of a glorious career driving triple 7’s (Boeing 777’s) around the world for a living. I have written about him in the past as he is a consummate pilot, able to fly just about anything he can climb into. Amazingly, he truly loves to fly smaller aircraft and does so with the calm deliberation that has marked his career. He helped me realize that I, too, can fly an airplane, encouraging me to pursue this dream to where I am today, a solo “student” pilot who is being throttled back by aggravating and perhaps disqualifying health issues that befall us all at some point in time. The final chapter in my flying career is yet to be written, but misplaced priorities have resulted in me grabbing this passion later in life than I should have. I did not think this through when health was the last thing on my mind. These same aggravations have resulted in my placing my motorcycle helmet on our book case, a trophy reminding me that I returned to this passion later than I should have. Am I wallowing in misery and self pity? Hell no, I have experienced the thrill of flying cross country alone and the feel of wind in my face over the rumble of a motorcycle while driving through the country. I paid closer attention to another passion, fishing. The aforementioned health issues have seriously cut back on the pursuit of this noble sport, but I will continue to fish when arthritis is at bay, until I fall over in a trout stream somewhere and am dragged to the bank by a younger, more able angler. Below is a picture of my training airplane taken a day or so after my cross country solo.

These examples of conceding defeat to the time thief are likely no different for most of my readers. If your passion is golf, are you hitting the course as often as you can? Perhaps you enjoy the shooting sports. Do you make it a point to shoot as often as you possibly can? The list is endless; boating, traveling, gardening, bicycling, scuba diving, floating, well, you get the point here. The maintenance of your family obligations can be greatly enhanced by introducing them to and urging them to participate in your passion, or vice versa.

Here is the take away. At some point your health is going to interfere with your life. Do not be lulled into complacency on this consideration as we are want to do when we are 30 something and can jump over buildings and throw a 800 pound motorcycle around as if it were a sack of potatoes. I would offer a fair challenge: Think about the things in life that provide the most joy and consciously consider this important question. Are there changes you can make in your life that will enhance your opportunities to pursue your passion(s)? Is there a strategy, unique to you, that can be adopted that will limit the distractions that are a part of everyday life? Can you enhance your discretionary time? Are your priorities in order? Most of us are at a time in place in life to begin eliminating additional regret, always a good strategy.

We are all very good about making time for the funeral. The trick is to have an eulogist who can smile and suggest that “he (she) had her priorities in order and lived a full life”. Grab a second cup of coffee and give this some thought…..

Have a great weekend!


Everything Has An origin….

As I sit at my desk this morning, I have a commanding view of two stop signs, one regulating traffic from a neighborhood street onto another and the second controlling the flow of traffic from a neighborhood street onto a busy and fast county road that faces the entrance to a busy farm park. I retired from a career where the regulation of vehicular traffic was the focus of my enforcement efforts and I have little patience with folks who don’t make an effort to comply with our motor vehicle laws. These stop signs are an example of how the seeds of civil disobedience are planted in our children. Hear me out before you casually discard the rantings of a frustrated “traffic guy”.

This morning I watched two neighborhood cars drive through these stop signs at speed. There was no effort at a “California Stop” much less an actual attempt to stop as required. This is a very bad habit to develop as eventually these violations are going to get the motorists in trouble. Traffic guys have all worked a number of crashes where folks pull out in front of oncoming traffic after a stop and many more where there was no attempt to stop at all, as was the case this morning. We have also worked a number of crashes, some quite serious, where the violator swears they looked, but did not see the oncoming traffic. Looking and seeing are two entirely different things folks. Just this week, I drove up on a very serious crash at a controlled intersection just outside of Springfield where a motorist failed to stop and drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle. These things happen when you casually disobey the basic rules of the road.

The merits of compliance with traffic law are obvious to virtually everyone who drives today. This important consideration is not why I write. One of the cars that drove through the stop sign today, as if it did not exist, was occupied by children in addition to the driver. These kids were old enough to form impressions based on the behaviors of the “adult” driving the car and are being taught that it is okay to ignore the law in the interest of expediency and time conservation. Driving is a very basic freedom that we enjoy, guaranteeing unheralded mobility in a country where cars are seen as an absolute necessity. I would argue that casually ignoring traffic law is the first step in teaching our children that laws are to be followed only when it is convenient and that casual disobedience is the order of the day. Ignoring the stop signs is the first, baby step in the fine art of civil disobedience. Everything has an origin, and civil disobedience is spawned when laws are broken. I would further suggest the thugs in ANTIFA have little regard for laws of any kind, including traffic law, although they do offer a ridiculous rationale for their ignorance, the hatred of authority.

To the folks who demonstrated their willful noncompliance with the law mandating a stop at a stop sign, think about your answer when the child asks why you didn’t stop as required. If you are able to come up with a good reason as to why you ignored this basic law, please offer it to me in your comments. I suspect that I have heard them all and have yet to hear one that sticks. We should strive to eliminate the necessity of explaining to our children why we break laws.

I was fortunate to enjoy a law enforcement career that encompassed every aspect of policing from criminal investigation to safety education and training. Traffic enforcement is how troopers cut their teeth in the State Patrol and is an aspect where you can make a difference instantly when you flip open your ticket book and begin the process of reminding motorists that someone is always watching you at some point in your public movement.

Take an extra few seconds to teach your children and grandchildren that laws are written to insure our safety. At the end of the day, you will have contributed to their development in a very positive way and will smile at your effort, knowing that you have made a positive contribution to their education and our civil order.