About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Be Careful Out There

Mom's car right after the accident.
My mom was in a bad traffic accident a few days ago. She was driving down the highway in a compact car. The driver of a large pickup truck turned left onto the highway from Mom's right side. He either didn't see Mom's car or didn't look. Mom didn't even have time to react before they smashed into each other. The vehicles were totaled, but both drivers survived. I don't know the status of the other driver, but Mom has a broken sternum and broken ribs, and her neck and back don't feel so hot. She spent a couple days in the hospital for observation. She has been released, and she is staying with my brother and his family, where she'll be well looked after.

Living in Atlanta, I've seen my share of careless and downright dangerous driving. More often than not, you'll see drivers zipping through heavy traffic like they are in a race. I've witnessed a disturbingly large number of drivers turning left on a red light. I've also seen several drivers who apparently don't realize that oncoming traffic has the right of way if you are turning left, and approximately half the drivers in Atlanta don't seem to understand the value of using a turn signal.

This past week, while driving on I-285, someone came up on me so fast that I thought he was going to ram me from behind. He swerved into the right lane at the last minute, missing me by inches, and proceeded to approach and pass other cars in the same manner. Two nights ago, I was driving side by side with an SUV on Freedom Parkway, when two racing motorcyclists zoomed right between us on the dividing line. They were so close that I could have open my door and creamed them. Five minutes later, on the same road, I was waiting at a stoplight at the head of a line of five or six cars. Another motorcyclist passed all the cars on the left hand side, zipped in front of me, and then turned right.

This type of driving has always disturbed me, but with after Mom's accident, it just plain pisses me off. Nobody wants to believe they can die, and sometimes it seems they're treating the roads like it's a video game. Unlike a video game, though, there is no reset button. If you crash, you can't just use another life.

I also consider this kind of dangerous driving to be selfish. When you drive like a lunatic, swerve in and out of traffic, split lanes to pass between to cars, or pass everyone else sitting at a stoplight, you are treating the rest of the drivers as obstacles instead of living, breathing human beings who are just trying to get somewhere. If you want to risk your own life, go somewhere and race on a closed track, but how dare you risk everyone else's life just because you're in a hurry!

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