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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Stop, look and listen

  • “We should not complain about the weather being boring this spring,” I thought as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard the other morning.
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  • "We should not complain about the weather being boring this spring," I thought as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard the other morning. It will be warm and 60 degrees one day, 30 and frosty the next morning, and rain showers the next.
    Will Rogers is given credit for the quote, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change." We live quite close to Oklahoma.
    Most of us recall that in a science class sometime, we were taught that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second and that sound is much slower at 1,126 feet per second.
    This speed of light and sound became more relevant the other night when I was sitting on the deck looking at the star filled sky. A prop airplane came from the south. I spotted its flashing lights several seconds before I heard its engine growling in the sky.
    A while later a plane came over that was so high that I saw the lights and never heard a sound. I assumed it was a passenger plane on flight from Tulsa or Oklahoma City to St. Louis. A flight path is over Neosho.
    Later as I thought about seeing these planes and hearing them I was reminded of the safety lesson we all should have learned: Stop! Look! and Listen! This four-word phrase makes sense if we heed it.
    If we stop, we can concentrate. If we look, we can spot lights and things moving. Listening comes later and can make up for those people who don't like to turn their car lights on early in the morning. If they can see, why care about others seeing them. Hopefully, they have noisy tires.
    These safety words also make us aware that we notice moving things better than still objects. Most of us have seen a rabbit, a cat, or a deer freeze in hopes it will not be seen.
    A personal safety problem I have is when one car is following behind a second one, and I'm at an intersection and want to cross. I stop and wait for the first car to pass, but too often, do not notice the second one and get ready to step into the street.
    I assume my mind is so attuned to watching the first car that I do not react to the second vehicle immediately. For safety sake, I force myself to wait a couple seconds after a car has passed before moving on.
    Take a walk, Stop! Look! and Listen! use those signal lights, watch for pedestrians, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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