Milton Fields

Milton Fields

Traffic can drive you to distraction

By Milton Fields
Life Columnist

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The weather folks on the television and in the newspaper all predicted foul weather, rain, sleet, snow and low icy temperatures. This was the outlook for several days, and it came to pass. Law enforcement people and road workers advised everyone to stay home, which I did for several days.

But I finally got up enough nerve to go to the post office and left on Jones Road headed for Sunset Avenue. What a mess. The traffic was terrible.

As I waited at the stop sign for an opportunity to enter, I thought cold wet weather must be a breeding time for cars. They kept coming. Time passed. No entry. I put on my flashing lights and hoped I could cut into a funeral procession, no luck. Cars, cars, cars -- where do they come from?

Just a few years ago, there was one car per household, the family car. Then there were two, one for the husband and for the wife. A child was lucky if she or he got a car as a college graduation present. Nowadays, a child hardly can wait until the 16th birthday, driver’s license and a car. In driving through some of the older sections of town, you see houses with a shelter attached for a car. If the shelter is occupied, there are another two cars in the yard and one on the street.

Cars also have had a tremendous influence on our rural areas and the smaller towns. People living there just hop into their cars and go to a larger town which has a megastore where they buy supplies and leave their sales tax money. The rural areas and smaller towns are losing population, but that is just one of the many changes we face.

Back at the stop sign, I finally was able to pull out and drive to the post office. My box was loaded after several days without a visit. A large part of the contents consisted of car and pickup truck ads, all touting the dealer’s warm-heartedness in selling me a vehicle for $15,000 off. There was no mention of the original price.

Milton Fields is a raconteur and retired lawyer living in Rocky Mount.