Nice to see someone ‘raised right’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I was leaving Florala Saturday when traffic stopped to allow for a funeral procession to come through town.

It was right there at the caution light near the laundry mat, and it appeared the services had been handled by Marshall-Hammond’s. I’m guessing they were headed to the cemetery for the dearly departed’s interment.

Like I was taught, I pulled to the right side of the road, behind another car, put on my hazards and began the wait for the line to end.

Through my rearview mirror, I watched as the traffic began to come up the hill from town. When the nose of the pickup truck came even with my rear passenger door, I felt my blood beginning to boil. When it eased up even with the driver’s door, I gave the driver a look that said, “What in the world do you think you are doing, you impolite tourist? Didn’t your mother teach you anything about respect?”

As the line ended and the policeman opened traffic back up, the man’s vehicle was dead even with mine – with about 25 cars, trucks and SUVs stretched back down the hill to the red light.

I rolled down my window and yelled at the driver, “Excuse me?”

With a chagrined shrug, he waved me ahead.

I thought about the incident all the way back to Andalusia and slowly fumed. About 20 minutes later, I met my mother at Beef’s for some lunch and was prepared to launch right into my story about the rude driver; however, she beat me to the punch.

“I had a flat tire on the way to town, and no one stopped to help me,” she said. “Can you believe it? And it wasn’t like they couldn’t see me in this bright orange shirt.”

It was true that the shirt was Auburn orange, and I shared her dismay. I couldn’t believe it. Where had all the decency gone?

I will never forget one Saturday morning while on our way to Orange Beach.

I was headed toward Baker, Fla., and we’d been in the line of traffic for a good 10 minutes or so before I saw the flashing blue lights leading the line and realized we were at the tail end of a funeral procession.

For those who travel that way to the beach, you might remember that right before you pass through the Baker’s first and only red light, there’s a feed and seed store on the left.

Well, when we made our way past that feed store, there was young man out – perhaps 17 or 18, standing on the concrete stoop, with his hat over his heart. To me, that was the ultimate sign of respect for that family’s loss. As my granny would say, “That boy was raised right.”

When Mom and I parted ways Saturday, I made my way over to Walmart to do some shopping. On the way back to the house, I came across the hill on Sanford, and there on the side of the road was a white Cadillac with two couples dressed in the Sunday best. The truck was up, so I knew there was some mechanical issue with the car. Just in front of it was another small pick up. As I made my way closer, I noticed the young man working diligently on the wheel’s lug nuts, and it made smile.

“There – that’s the way it should be,” I thought. “That boy was raised right.”