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Monday, January 31, 2011
Road Rage- 1898 Tuckerton Style
A couple of times most weeks, I see an article in the daily newspaper or an item on local TV news about road rage on today's crowded highways. Tempers flare, arguments ensue, fights break out, and sometimes a shooting occurs. Often, I think to myself that I wish I lived in a simpler, more civilized time around the turn of the 19th century. Bet there was no road rage then!
Well, I couldn't be more wrong. While reading through some old editions of the Tuckerton Beacon, I spotted a road rage related article that appeared in the June 2, 1898 edition of the Beacon. It involved bicycles rather than cars, but it proves that human nature hasn't changed much. Seems like we are always in a hurry and end up doing some pretty stupid things.
The incident didn't end in a fist fight or shooting, but some heavy duty damage was done to both men and equipment in the excitement of the moment. Caution and care clearly went out the window as hurrying, impatience, and excessive speed clearly impaired good judgment and ruled the day. It may not be road rage by today's standards, but it was fueled by the same human tendencies and would qualify back in the "good old days."
PS- Two of my Men's Breakfast buddies, Rickie "White Shoes" Steele, and Tom Doherty have been known to ride their bikes on North Maple Avenue in New Gretna. They should learn from the 1898 incident. It is often said that if we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. Take heed, fellows!
Note: Atkinson's farm was in the area of JT's, formerly Penny's Restaurant, on Route 9 in Parkertown.