What I would do with those Toll Road litterers

As moorandmore.net readers have learned, I write two types of stories.  One kind is about a topic I have heavily researched because of a long standing interest.  The other type is off the top of my head and comes about in a flash. This is one of the latter.

If anyone wants to stop at my house and see some of the things I write about, come to 53505 Lamar Street in Indian Village, immediately north of Notre Dame.

The northern boundary of my property contains an unimproved “avenue” named Sweeney, which I maintain because the grassy area merges into my yard.  Immediately north of that is Juday Creek (pronounced Judy, rather than Ju-Day).  And, immediately north of that is the Indiana Toll Road, for which we can thank Dwight Eisenhower and Ted Hesburgh, but that’s a neat story I’ve already told here.  But I digress.

As a conservative “Law & Order” type, I have always supported the death penalty for heinous (pronounced Hain-yuss and not Hine-ouse) crimes.  If we don’t execute Sirhanx2 and Manson, whom do we execute?  Over the years, I have pretty much given up on the death penalty.

But there IS a crime for which I would prescribe the death penalty, as opposed to proscribing it which is now done.  LITTERING.  OK, perhaps I will give one probation verdict, but the death penalty for the second offense.  These people are defacing and defiling the property of others.  Selfish.

I mentioned where I live.  Because of my nearness to the Toll Road, there is a LOT of litter, which accumulates in the large — very large — grassy area I can see north of my yard, Juday Creek and the Toll Road  Two types of litter (noun) litter (verb) that area, which is not little.  The first kind is stuff that comes off large trucks.  Rubber.  Whole tires (!) and various other pieces of accoutrement of one of the semi’s whose work is the unsung backbone of our economy.  The second kind of stuff is what would bring the death penalty if the Capster ever lived and reigned at 1,600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

People throw their trash out the window.  Who are these people?  All social strata.  Too lazy and disrespectful to save their trash for the next receptacle they come to. It’s not my trash, but I see it every day when I look outside my kitchen window.  Unsightly sight on that site and I can cite many examples.  So, once a year, I risk life and limb to remove it.  BTW, I have offered the Toll Road $300 to do some clearing of the downed trees in that area.  If they did, they could resume the mowing they used to do and it would clear up my problem.  But I digress.

What was my death-defying action?  Years ago, I chastised the Toll Road because its boundary fence left a gaping area in which the deer, all agape  with wonder, easily passed beyond — after which getting hit by the unsung backbone of our economy was easily predictable.  Because of my chastising, the Toll Road (I’m sure they have a dossier on me) built an excellent fence, which pretty much eliminates an easy path to the Toll Road. 

But, there is a tiny, I mean real small, way to get to the Toll Road.  A concrete path, perhaps 10 inches wide, alongside this fence that the you know who built because of harassment by you know whom.  When I walk along this rising 20-foot pathway, as I just did, I hold onto the chain links with my left hand, while seeing a 10-15-foot drop into Juday Creek on my right.  If the creek were deep, I would be risking drowning.  But, since it is not deep, I would likely break something.  And as I lay there, unable to move because of what I broke, perhaps I would drown in three feet of water.  Horrors.

So, because of these thoughtless escapees of my future death penalty, once a year I go up that path.  Just did.  I bring a large plastic bag.  I remove all the annoying trash, mostly bottles and cans and various other kinds of litter.  I have to battle hidden holes and depressions and slippery grass.  I have slipped before, but managed to avoid plummeting to my demise.  The final death-defying element is coming back DOWN the tiny concrete path.  Going straight downhill.  It’s harder and the chain link fence has some wires which stick out.  They are harder to avoid on the way down.  I have scratches to show.

One of the few highlights of this adventure (took 30 minutes today) is that I am a collector (not a hoarder).  In my garage and shed, I have a collection of all kinds of things I have retrieved.  About two thirds of them are truck parts of some kind.  The other third are various kinds of silly stuff.  Anyone who comes to visit me can see the pathway I took and marvel at my collections.  When I pass on, my daughter Megan will order a large dumpster for many of these collections.

Today was a slim day for collecting. Only two items.  One is an old, rusty hook, attached to a three-foot remnant of cloth labeled HUSKY 766lb. WORKING LOAD LIMIT.  I like it.  The other, from a truck front, is an old lamp light, which reminds me of a favorite old tune, but I digress:

GeneAutry.com: Watch a Gene Autry Video Clip – The Old …

 Gene Autry serenades Elena Del Rio (played by actress Adele Mara) with the romantic number “The Old Lamplighter” from the 1947 Republic Pictures film Twilight on …

He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
His snowy hair was so much whiter
Beneath the candle glow
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
You’d hear the patter of his feet
As he came toddling down the street
His smile would had a lonely heart you see
If there were sweethearts in the park
He’d pass a lamp and leave it dark
Remembering the days that used to be
For he recalls when things were new
He loved someone who loved him too
Who walks with him alone in memories
He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
Now if you look up in the sky
You’ll understand the reason why
The little stars at night are all aglow
He turns them on when night is here
He turns them off when dawn is near
The little man we left of long ago
He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go
The old lamplighter of long, long ago


The lyrics sentimentalize and memorialize the profession of lamplighters, who walked city streets at dusk turning on the gas-powered street lamps and turned them off again at dawn.