Make that comment or no?

When I was planning a trip to Ireland, one of the guidebooks talked about tourists commenting on “The Troubles.” It said that the people of Ireland — North or South — would not be interested in discussing the problem, especially with a tourist. If you were from outside the country, your opinion was irrelevant because your “theories” would never have to stand the test to prove them. If you were from inside the country, you didn’t discuss “The Troubles” because your neighbors already knew your opinions, so what was the point?

Recent events in my town have reminded me of this bit of advice. I feel the same way now about what is going on here. I don’t post my opinions of Facebook and not because I’m afraid of losing my job. I don’t post because — seriously — what’s the point? I agree with freedom of speech, but there’s also the freedom to keep my mouth shut and to also ignore a post someone else writes. I am exercising both freedoms these days.

Long ago, on message boards and chat sites, I decided to read the boards without logging in. If something riled me, I would have to take the extra steps of going back, logging in, finding the post and then responding. That gave me the extra time to say, “Is this worth it?” The answer was mostly “no.”

Do I have an opinion on the events and whether people would or would not have done A, B or C? Of course I do. Is that reason enough for me to add to the plethora already on Facebook, Twitter and other similar sites? Do you want to hear my opinion? No, and no, you really don’t. Not on that topic anyway. Trust me.

Adding to the “durm und strang” just to throw in my two cents doesn’t seem to me to be the wise move. At least not if I want to maintain friendships that should last longer and should be more important than a controversy in which I am not directly involved.

The irony that I’m expressing this opinion here is not lost on me. But it’s my blog and I can be ironic if I want to. Just my opinion.

Throwing the stick

Dear Dan,

Mom and I were talking about something I think of a lot. Remember the time were were riding with mom over Seven Mountains? I guess we were going to Mamie’s. You probably had an appointment with Dr. Rodriguez — the one who fit you for leg braces, we were that young.

There was road construction just past Pot Likker Flats near Reedsville where the Missing Link used to be. We were waiting in a line of cars to go through. It was a hot summer day — always! because in PA Road Construction Season falls between Summer and Fall — so the windows were down. The flagman stopped mom, handed her a stick and asked her to give it to the guy at the other end of the construction.

Mom thought it was a joke. She tossed the stick into the field and said “Oh, you silly thing,” to the flagman. He looked at her with a very mournful, yet shocked look and said “You threw away my stick!”

You and I yelled “MOM!” as she drove off and the flagman went to look for something else to give to the car behind us.

You had to explain to mom that because of explosives being used they had to turn off the 2-way radios. The stick was the way each flagman knew this was the last car.

Mom still can’t figure out how we knew that and she didn’t. Fur the umpteenth time I said “Who doesn’t know that?” but I do wonder how we did and she didn’t.

Love ya, bro!