by Shelley Fowler

In the media world, it is known as a ‘tease’. Providing the desired demographic ears and eyes with just enough information to get them interested in the subject matter, while keeping them guessing and wanting to hear more! Well, guess what? After spending hours writing, re-writing, editing, deleting and occasionally muttering beneath my breath, I have come to the conclusion that although you all are the perfect demographic ears and eyes, I’m a lousy tease..or rather, teaser!

So, I’m going to spill the beans, tell it all, leave no stone unturned, spell it out and heartily shout the news from the mountaintop!

Or find a happy balance between the two!

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Thus, and for now, I will impart to you this much information. I’m very excited about an event that will commence on August 30, and just a few steps south of Cimmie, our resident dinosaur. It is a photographic showcase entitled, “Chasing the Light in Cimarron County”. And it is the result of an artistic (and delightful) collaboration between an Oklahoma woman and a long, tall Texan named Dusty Reins.

 Since I have now put over 58,000 miles on my stalwart and trusty little white Jeep over the past year, I think I have license to offer up some sage advice concerning the art of highway courtesy. Or put another way..how to not tick off other drivers who merely want to pass you and get on down the road!

The other day I was following a pickup packed to the gills with furniture and topped off with a mattress and box springs. It was practically tailgating the moving van in front of it. I deduced they were two vehicles from the same family, moving from hither to yon. And at a rate beneath the legal speed limit. We were in hilly country that offered a few opportunities to pass, but it was impossible, since it meant going around two vehicles at once.

Had the driver of the van been courteous he (or she) would have looked in the rearview mirror and noticed all the cars and trucks stacking up behind the duo, then made passing possible by pulling over at the next convenient turn-off. Or the driver of the pickup would have noticed the same thing and put some space between them so we could get by them one at a time. Courtesy Rule #1: If you’re going slower than the speed limit, pull over and let the herd go by! And if you’re part of a tag team of vehicles, leave some passing space for the rest of us.

And then there are the ‘yellow stripe huggers’. They are the folks whose left tires seem magnetized by the center stripes, especially when you’re attempting to pass them! (And may I say there are scads of this type of driver out there on the highways!) Courtesy Rule #2: If you’re going to hug a stripe make it the white one! That gives the vehicle behind you – the passer – the safe opportunity to see if the road ahead is clear without risking being sideswiped by an oncoming semi!

And Courtesy Rule #3: If all else fails and you’re stuck behind the above mentioned drivers with no chance of passing them and scooting on down the road, cease calling them bad names, set your cruise control to match theirs, turn up the tunes and settle back in the seat. At least you’ll get to enjoy the scenery!

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