It always seems to happen when I start singing in the Christmas choir that I join each year. Makes sense, I guess. Those vocal chords have been lazing around for months and now they’re objecting to the workout.
Our concert is Dec. 9, by the way, in St. Joseph the Worker Church in Pierre Part. C’mon over!
The weather remains beautiful but a little unnatural. I keep dragging out shorts and T-shirts that I’d packed away. Now, as I write, the north wind is blowing and it sounds cold even if it isn’t really. I spoke with my sister today, and she said they were expecting some snow tonight. This is in southern Michigan.
After our regular walk today, the dog and I ended, as usual, back at the Belle River landing where I sit on one of the concrete benches or on a rock beside a launch ramp. I noticed a new kiosk beside one of the ramps. An overhang sheltered a bulletin board and a metal box from which you could extract a ticket, one of which said “Check In,” and another, longer one said “Check Out.”
Then I noticed the WMA posters on the bulletin board, and realized this was a place to get what was called a “Self-Clearing Permit” to be on a Wildlife Management Area. You were supposed to fill out the “Check In” ticket and put it in the metal box before going to a WMA area. When you came back you filled out the “Check Out” ticket with what species you harvested (if you went hunting), or camping, fishing, picked berries, went horseback riding, and a bunch of other activities. And both tickets said there was up to a $350 fine for not filling out the tickets!
Oh, and it said the “Check Out” ticket had to be carried with you when you were on the WMA. I kind of chuckled to myself at the horseback riding and bike riding options, but I guess it is possible to do those, although how on earth you could get a horse out to a WMA puzzles me. One poster said to take a WMA map but there were none to take, at least not when I was there.
I also noticed something else which I’ll pass along even though I’ll be preaching to the choir. A local Belle River guy came to the landing when I was there, and he arrived by entering an exit drive and left on an entrance only ramp. It was uncharitable of me to think maybe he’d get hit by someone entering and exiting using the correct places.
Did you watch any of the Vietnam in HD programming? I watched one evening, and couldn’t help but think of a good friend of mine who was a door gunner in Vietnam. He’s the most gentle person I know, and I find it really awful to imagine him sitting in the door of a helicopter, shooting with a machine gun. And then to come home and be reviled! How awful! No wonder so many suffer from PTSD.
I might have misunderstood this, but I think it was said at one point that Vietnam was the first military engagement where photographers were allowed to take pictures with no restrictions. Some of the pictures were pretty awful.
When I see up close pictures of dead soldiers, I always think, “What if some person recognized their son or husband lying there?”
Teche News’ Lower St. Martin correspondent, Linda Cooke, can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.