Park the idea of a parking garage

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2005

There goes another few million down the downtown tube … a parking garage for the hordes that shop downtown. Visitors don’t fill up the lots we now have scattered around town because they are too far from &uot;central.&uot;

There could be many more parking spaces near the Cultural Center or build a second deck over the current space back of the courthouse. Modern day humans don’t fancy walking more than half a block, especially the rotund ones.

While it may make the &uot;village&uot; appear more like &uot;big&uot; city it would accomplish nothing more than to deplete the inventory of cement and gravel. I’ve always found space on the Saratoga lot behind the News Herald building.

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A mundane structure of concrete would damage the image of our &uot;village&uot; residents whose idea of restoration and residential density is so that people can walk to where they wish to go. Damn the cars, full speed ahead.

And forget parking for the few

&uot;tourists;&uot; they already have the Railroad Station and the Hilton lot. Toss the cost of that parking garage to the nearby villages that really need the money.

Somewhat proud

While I am proud to be a resident of Chuckatuck, I am not proud of its intersection at the end of Kings Highway where it meets Route 10. They did cut down the weeds so it obstructs oncoming traffic less, but it’s a far cry from being either sensible or safe. It is known by many as, &uot;Take a Chance&uot; intersection.

A traffic light is all that is required. If there is anything of importance inside that triangle of congestion it can be moved to more hallowed ground. There are at least three of those very expensive decorative light poles in that mess that could be employed elsewhere.

It’s really not important what types of businesses are located on that corner; drivers are too busy playing dodge ball as they wait their turn to be involved in an accident, or at least get to witness one.

She earned the title

One of my heroines died … Rosa Lee Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. She really put a fire under the civil rights movement and stayed around until she was 92 to regret the slow progress made since.

She was only 42 in 1955 when she dared take on the terribly unfair status quo, an act of defiance greater and far more effective than the black race spokespersons of today. She ranks with the kids who defied the ignorant governor of Alabama. She changed the course of American history, earned and deserves the title ”Mother of the civil rights movement.”

A clean sweep

A retired neighbor told me this after a morning at a launderette.

&uot;My wife’s sister is coming and that means we clean things routinely ignored for years.

The woven throw rugs in the kitchen are a prime example. We got them about nine years ago and haven’t touched them since. The spots on them are a historical record of every meal she has ever made. Some historian who happens upon them 200 years from now will find them an invaluable record of how we actually lived back in ’05. Nevertheless, she insisted on washing them rather than buy new. Being a dutiful husband

— and the fact it was a cold and rainy morning anyway – – I volunteered to go down to a local coin-op laundry and obliterate history.

&uot;I went to a laundry I figured was in a &uot;better&uot; part of town, in a refurbished strip mall with lots of lights along a main road and next to a fast food outlet. How bad could it be?

Well, let me tell you what I saw in there. One totally wet guy (remember, it was raining) with a plastic bag over one arm begging for change since he couldn’t work because of his broken arm.

There was a young hip-hop girl who was apparently washing the only bra and panties she owned, and an older semi-toothed guy who professed to be a tournament fisherman. I kind of believed him since he actually smelled like fish.

&uot;At the far end was this out-of-town construction guy who couldn’t work because of the weather and was furiously trying to set a new record on the pinball machine.

A really, really old guy had fallen asleep in front of a dryer, but kept muttering something about not being able to change the channel.

I did my best to blend in with the coke machine to avoid participation in any high-level conversations. The only person missing was a shaved head Harri Krishna in an orange robe. Guess they only solicit airport passengers. Hey, but the rugs are clean.&uot;

Robert Pocklington is a regular contributor or columns to the Suffolk News-Herald. E-mail him at