The Public Speaking
Why So Reluctant
To Provide Help?
My husband works late nights in Cary. On his way home recently around midnight, he noticed a van on the side of the road. As he got closer, he saw an older gentleman who waved as if in need of help.
My husband stopped to offer assistance. All that the gentleman needed was a cell phone to call AAA. That's it. He had pulled over for a moment, and when he went to leave, his starter failed. He had been there since 2 p.m., for a total of 10 hours! The only other person who stopped all day was an officer who asked if he was "all right" but did not offer to make the call for him.
The gracious gentleman turned out to be Ralph Macklin, class of '57, a respected citizen of Chapel Hill. He was so grateful that he insisted my husband accept a bottle of scotch, a 16-year-old Glenlivet Nadurra.
A similar experience happened to my brother-in-law, who is a pre-law student at ASU. His car was in the shop, so he left a couple of hours early for work to see if he could get a ride from someone at the local convenience store. He is clean-cut and was dressed for work, which was only a few miles away. Men lied to him saying they weren't going that way and then they'd drive off in that direction, men with trucks where he offered to ride in the bed. Finally, after my brother-in-law had asked more than 40 people, a man who wasn't even going in his direction agreed to take him.
This is very troubling to me! Are you men scared, or is the real truth you just don't care? How sad - where have all the real men gone?
A Nonsmoker's View
I have been around smoking all of my life. My parents smoked, as did my first husband.
I grew up in an enlightened age where we knew the perils, so I never felt the need to even experiment with smoking. Even as a youngster, the smell offended me. I saw the effects of smoking later on. Both my parents died of cancer; my first husband died of lung cancer at age 51. Be that as it may, I am not an anti-smoking zealot. I believe in freedom of choice. However, I also believe we need to respect others.
I have been a weekend patron of Mac's since I moved here 17 years ago. I always have been willing to wait in line for the table farthest away from the smoking section. Even the non-smoking sections adjacent to the smoking area are permeated with secondhand smoke. I am thrilled that smoking will no longer be a part of that equation.
I love the blues and have enjoyed the Blues Fest a few times but stopped going because it took three shampoos to get the smoke smell out of my hair. Mac's is going to have to replace ceiling tiles and repaint to get rid of the smoke fumes.
What does this say about the overall effects of secondhand smoke? What's the old saying, "Smoke 'em if you've got 'em"? Well, it's my humble opinion that's what you should do, but please do so either in your own homes or in establishments like cigar bars, which are designated for the enjoyment of smoking. Let us breathe fresh air elsewhere.
A Voice of Reason
Thank you for inviting Fred Wolferman to voice his opinion about the demise of Congress (Jan. 1).
I agree that special interests have tainted both sides of the aisle. Thank heavens for C-SPAN 2! There was so much name-calling and stone-throwing in Congress over the hodgepodge health-care bill that I wondered at times if I was watching ESPN or a wrestling channel.
But Wolferman's opinion was calm, concrete and educated, as if he was a sports announcer on the Golf Channel. Please have him back again.
Editor's Note: Wolferman's weekly column appears every Friday.
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