First joint meeting for chambers


I’m looking foward to a first-ever event coming Monday night—a joint annual meeting of the Hillsboro and Marion Chamber of Commerce groups.

At first I thought why do that? But the more I thought about it, the smarter it looks. Why not have cooperation in this way? It bodes well for making it a bigger event, and aren’t our business communities all in the same boat?

I had never been to Waterloo, Iowa, until last week. It is almost 500 miles—and on four-lane roads starting at Emporia.

I serve on the board of directors of Midwest Free Commun­ity Papers and always look forward to seeing the nice people in the business whom I have learned to know and appreciate during the past 10 years or so.

Once I get there and get involved, the trip doesn’t seem so bad until I get back in the car and head for home.

The day I left was the second day of the first snowfall they had this winter with winds up to 40 mph, a 12-degree temperature and a windchill of -20 degrees, a big switch from the day I arrived when it was 57 degrees.

My car had a 2-foot drift in front and behind when I found it in the parking lot. With a creative maneuver I was able to snake around the biggest part of the drift and sail on out.

After an hour of heading west, the snow all but disappeared and it was smooth for awhile. When I stopped for gas, a guy told me to look at my right front tire. It was almost flat.

So, I aired it up and hit the trail. Then I got to thinking: If it is still leaking, I won’t make it home before it is flat again, or it would be flat by morning.

So I stopped in the first big town in Missouri and found a mom-and-pop tire shop. When I pulled in, the nicest, friendliest, mild-mannered and customer-service-oriented kid, who was about 28 years old I would guess, took over.

He carefully jacked the front end, removed the wheel and started looking for the leak, but couldn’t find one.

They finally determined that when the weather shifts from warm to cold very fast, like it did, sometimes a leak develops at the bead of the tire and the rim. They said this was common. After checking inside the tire, the young man gooped up the bead with some liquid rubber stuff and said it would take care of it.

It is five days later now and the tire is still good. He im­pressed me so much I felt led to give him a big tip.

I don’t know about other people who, like me, are getting older and have less range of motion in their extremities.

For example, I used to be able to scratch my back wherever I wanted, but now I can’t reach the middle.

I’ve resorted to lying on the carpet and sliding around on my back to get to those hard-to-reach places, or run the towel back and forth on it just out of the shower.

But sometimes it’s nice to have the better half do some of the scratching. But then how does one explain where it itches?

The other night, I came up with a pretty good method, if I do say so myself. I told my wife to pretend my back was a football field and to then apply the fingernails about 5 yards on either side of the 50-yard line.

Does anyone think it will snow this winter? I do.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@hillsborofreepress.com.


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