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Wiser’s Wramblings-With Eyes Wide Open


By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

If you’ve read my “Wrambling’s more than once you likely know that I often comment on Scanner calls. Today will be no exception but it is being done as much out of puzzlement as wonder, or any other emotion.

Monday night I was awakened by the Scio Fire Department siren wailing and my scanner busily and frantically calling and being responded to. My first hearing had little detail, but I believe I heard the words “explosion” and “fully involved. A fire was reported as being off Pixley Hill road in Andover which connects County Rte. 10 (Vandermark Road from Scio to Alfred) and County Rte. 12 (Jericho Hill road, from Elm Valley to Alfred) and that an explosion had occurred. My impression from piecing numerous scanner comments together, was that there was an explosion that spread a fire from the garage to a house. Multiple local Fire Departments were called out, many of them with multiple units requested to respond. Among those that I recall were Andover, Scio 1 and 2, Alfred, Alfred Station, Wellsville and Whitesville to the fire. Fire Investigators were called, and Allentown was put on standby. It soon became apparent that it was a major conflagration and would likely continue through the night so I went back to bed.

In the morning I started checking news sources attempting to get an update or newsy information about exactly what had transpired and in hopes that there were no injuries or worse and perhaps the details that, good or bad, pique our curiosity. I found nothing! No one knew, had heard, or had been able to find out anything. I couldn’t find anything, in or from, any news source and that was surprising. Even the Wellsville Sun, wherein you are reading this, has not yet been able to shed their light on the situation. As of this writing, Wednesday, early evening, I still haven’t been able to find out anything. Admittedly, I have not watched all of the TV News sources, nor read all of the available printed News sources, but neither have I been able to reach anyone who has heard anything, or telling it if they have.

If I was a “journalist” or newspaper reporter and not just a mere Op-Ed writer, alarm bells would be going off. Hopefully by the time you read this, reports would have been published we would have an idea what transpired. Tragedy? Legal Issues? Ongoing Investigation? Nobody’s Business? Who knows?

*Editors note: A report from John Anderson on this fire will be in today’s edition of the Wellsville Sun

Right up front let me say I am Pro-Law enforcement. I believe in enforcing the laws and arresting or fining those guilty of breaking the laws. I also am realistic enough to realize there are those grey areas, some of which I have mentioned before. Let me also add the disclaimer that I do, also, understand the logic and benefits from many of the items I will next discuss.

Drivers are routinely given some leeway on posted speed limits. 10 MPH or less over is pretty much an acceptable “violation” given equipment and technology variations and inaccuracies etc. I have always been doubtful about the fairness of “Speed Traps” however. I don’t have a problem with monitoring the speed violations in areas where there are frequent and continual blatant ignoring posted speed limits, such as on my road, as I have noted before. This apparently only causes concern to me and my neighbors. Frequently, on a routine basis, setting radar at the foot of a long hill or at a location where your speed may inadvertently creep slightly above the speed limit despite having taken your foot off the throttle and coasting, for some reason, is troublesome to me. Are you speeding? Yes. Is it blatant and chronic and intentional disregard for the posted limits? Maybe not. “Lying in wait” somehow seems not quite right to me.

Along those lines another scanner report prompted thought and mixed feelings for me. Lately, or at least for the past several years, there seems to be a requirement for law enforcement to get involved in any, and all, situations that cause your vehicle to be inoperable, even if on your own property. One call had police agencies check out a vehicle that had backed into a ditch alongside his own driveway, in his yard, necessitating a tow to get out. Tow truck driver could not make the tow without police sign off. A couple of years ago I had my brakes fail as I was slowing to pull into my driveway. The braking mechanism was scraping metal. I was able to stop, but I knew I would not be able to safely take it on the road to go to a repair shop. I called my buddies at J&R Auto and asked if they could come down and tow it over to Fuller’s Garage here in Scio. While waiting I decided to back it out of the driveway and across the street to better facilitate getting it loaded on the flat bed “Roll Back”. I’m not sure who called where or what but when J&R arrived they couldn’t load it and haul it until a Sherriff’s Deputy, which apparently had been called. got there and signed off. I know that deer strikes causing vehicle damage need a law enforcement report for some insurance coveragecompanies, but it seems the norm these day for all of them to be reported and checked out. At each and every call out, license, registration, inspection and “S and R” reports are requested. Some of this seems helpful and logical but in a way it bothers me.

Now the “wreal wrambling” starts. As those miscellaneous thoughts come to me over the weeks I make notes on them, as I use them in the writing of my Wramblings. I try to remember to cross them off my list as I use them. If I fail at that I may end up repeating a thought I passed on in an earlier article. For those accidental happenings I apologize.

There is an engineering/design term referred to as “As Shown and Opposite hand”. If you look at your hands palms up, you see that they are identical except the thumbs go opposite directions. If a mechanical component is designed such that the same shaped part is used on both ends (or sides) and there are features like flanges, drilled holes etc. that are not “symmetrical”, in other words able to be flipped over and used on either side or end, they are like your hands. Your left hand glove will not fit properly on your right hand due to this physical characteristic. In engineering drawing production, to avoid having to draw or show the component twice on the drawing the one shown may be labeled “As shown and opposite hand”. That is a lead in to discussing they keys I had made recently. The keys look the same viewed from either side with the exception that one side has one length wise groove and the other has two grooves. If the key cutter has the wrong side facing up when the key is ground the shape is correct but it should have been “opposite hand”.

After a two year lay off the Genesee Valley Chorus (GVC) has now had two practices. Only two weeks in and we now have two “Gigs” scheduled and the first is this coming Monday. Guess we’re coming out of the shoot raring to go.

A couple of weeks ago we had a bear visiting our back yard which seems to have become an annual ritual. My editor borrowed a picture from a year or two ago showing a previous bear visit in an article regarding a recent Whitesville yard bear visit. We chose that picture to show just how large some of these otherwise beautiful creatures can be. They can also be very destructive however, even if not dangerous. My (first) bear visit this year did not result in any damage. This past Sunday morning I noticed that the bird feeder mounted on the side on my neighbors shed had been torn down. Seems that one, of the two in the area, had visited Saturday night and helped itself to some sunflower seeds. They are still around, and still hungry.

“The British are coming! The British are coming!” Over the past few years I have seen and heard the use of the term “Personation“, when someone is portraying themselves as being another person. The current primary example would be using someone else’s ID for alcohol purchases. Until just a few years ago the proper term “Impersonation” was used. Impersonation was commonly the correct use of the term meaning to falsely present yourself as another. Personation is a British term formerly used “in the act of voting in an election by impersonating someone else”. The term has migrated into our language these days and is now used more often, especially in legal situations or if “impersonating” a police authority.

Our Spring officially started last night. We don’t really consider it spring until our “flock” of feathered friends arrive. Last night just as I was ready to depart for GVC practice my wife said wait, don’t open the door, come here, quietly. I did and looked out the window to where she was pointing. There up in the primary bird feeder cage as contented as could be sat our first 2022 Spring, Rose Breasted Grosbeak. Always a feeling of contentment and gratefulness for all of God’s creatures, big or small. We call the first one “the scout” as one usually precedes the others by a day or so. The males typically arrive before the females to get the house in order in expectation of his mate’s arrival.

A recent social media post showed the original numbering scheme designed for the Interstate Highway System. Basically, they are numbered “even” East and West and “odd” North and South. Initially they started numbering sequentially starting at 10 as the southernmost going in increments Northward as 10, 20, 30, etc. With the odd numbered they started on the west coast at Route 5 and were numbered sequentially 5, 15, 25, etc.

This is a prequel to a future topic that has piqued my interest for some time now. How or why did our county roads get numbered the way they are? County road 1 Leads from Nile to Rte. 305 in West Clarksville while #2 goes from Angelica to Almond. But County Routes 9, 10 and 11 are sequential from Rte 417 between Wellsville and Allentown to Route 21 in Almond.

When The US Highway system was designed under President Eisenhower’s reign in the mid to late 50’s . The East to West routes were even numbered starting with the lowest in the south with numbers going up from south to north. The odd numbered Interstates that generally travel North to South start their numbering in California and sequentially increase from west to east.    

Driving back from Olean on a sunny day recently I recalled thoughts I pondered off and on over the past couple of years. When passing by strangers or friends with my mask on I wished that they could see my smile of greeting. Then and there one of those days I told my self that if I tried to show my smile in my eyes, as I had noticed others could do, then they would see my smile.

You Still Can Smile but With Your Eyes

While wearing masks this day and age, ‘Tis hard to hear what people say

The words were muffled often soft, not understood, mis-heard too oft.

When Babes are born the first they learn, is how to smile, your love to earn.

Before they talk their giggles heard, their love they share without a word.

Words said in jest if lips not seen, ‘Tis hard to know just what they mean.

A smile would hint and light the way, to understand the mirth they say.

When passing strangers on a street, warm feelings lost by those you greet.

Your smile if hidden by a mask, Will hide the warmth, how are you asked?

To show that smile there is a way and knowing how I learned today.

The sun was shining blue were the skies, and I could smile with my eyes.

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