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Driving, parking and evacuating
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Driving continues to be one of my pet peeves since moving down here a little more than two years ago from Michigan.

People around here get really, really upset if you drive the speed limit, especially on Highway 144 heading into town. They only get really upset if you are driving 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit.

They can’t wait to jump at the first chance to change lanes as soon as the road widens at Timber Trail, even though you usually end up right next to them waiting as yet another train goes past city hall.

There are so many trains per day (trust me, we hear them loud and clear from the nearby Bryan County News offices), that if Richmond Hill ever adopts an official song, my vote is for “Casey Jones.” Either that or “Monkey and the Engineer,” both of course by The Grateful Dead, one of my favorite bands of all time.

Speaking of bands, how awesome is satellite radio? I spent a lot of time in the car over the summer driving our son to AAU basketball tournaments, and SiriusXM saved my sanity. Dedicated channels to the Dead, Beatles, Springsteen and Motown. What more could you ask for.

And while we’re on the topic of music, one of these days I hope to be at an event with Jimmy Burnsed, the former chairman of the Bryan County Board of Commissioners, where lunch is served buffet style. That way, I can finagle a spot next to him and can say, as did The Rolling Stones in “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” that I was “standing in line with Mr. Jimmy.”

On the other end of the spectrum from actual driving, as you read this McAllister Elementary parents who won’t let little Braxton or Zoe ride the bus are already waiting in line on the Veterans Memorial Parking Lot Way to pick their kids up a week from next Friday.

I’m happy to report after the first week of the Pembroke Mafia Football League that I’m in first place with only two missed picks. That probably won’t last for long though, but I was smart enough to pick Notre Dame to beat Georgia this coming Saturday. With a name like O’Neil? How could I ever pick against them? We Irish-Catholics are Notre Dame fans from conception.

I posted a story Sunday about how well alums from our two high schools did in college football and soccer on Saturday. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of talented athletes we have around here. I went to a high school in Metro Detroit with 1,600 students and we had exactly one athlete in my graduating class go on to play college sports. Of course, rumor was that he scored in single digits on the ACT, but we’ll leave the topic of cheating in college athletics for another time.

So this Hurricane Irma thing is serious business. Pictures coming out of the Caribbean look just like Houston after Hurricane Harvey. As Bryan County Emergency Services Chief Freddy Howell put it, his advice is “evacuate, evacuate, evacuate” if the call comes. Freddy’s a smart guy, in addition to being a heck of a football broadcaster over at Low Country Radio.

Don’t forget — those questioning the timing of any evacuation orders that might come from the county don’t have to wait until an official decree is made. If you want to leave early, no one is stopping you.

If you leave, and you should if officials say to, be sure to keep up with our website and Facebook page. We’ll bring you updates and information as often as we safely can.

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