Oklahoma is the only state Iíve ever lived in where it is hot even in the middle of the night.
Darkness in Oklahoma is deceiving. Even with the stars above and the moon casting its white light on the lawn, the heat can be oppressive.
The summer solstice passed this week and the days are getting shorter again, but the heat remains constant. The only respite is the air conditioner.
It is natural for tempers to run short in this kind of heat. Many years ago I read a statistic that stated that most murders are committed when itís 90 degrees or hotter. That may or may not be correct, but I think the general spirit of the observations is exactly right.
People get cranky when they are too hot.
And when you add the heat to the constant snarl of traffic that characterizes Grove streets in the summertime, it is not surprising that tempers sometimes flare.
Nevertheless, I would like to remind our residents and visitors that courtesy is one of the qualities that define civilization.
I would say that it distinguishes human beings from lesser life forms, but the truth is that most creatures of the earth practice some form of courtesy. For instance, male cardinals feed their mates when they are brooding on the nest. And monkeys groom each other.
Courtesy is a survival skill. If we donít treat each other with respect and consideration, everything falls apart.
Third Street is a bit of a mess as I write this. There are no lines on the newly paved road, and though it is nice and smooth, it is rather difficult for many to know precisely where the parameters are.
A good friend of mine who is so important that he cannot sit through an entire Rotary meeting without jumping up every few minutes to answer his phone, told me that the paint for the streets is on back order all across the United States and ODOT doesnít know when theyíll get it.
This may create some difficulty for pedestrians as well as drivers.
Even when the crosswalks are painted on the street in the area of Third and Main, many motorists are loathe to stop for pedestrians.
There are signs at the crosswalks on Third stating that cars must stop for pedestrians, but apparently lots of people are speeding so fast they donít have time to read them.
A couple of weeks ago, before the street had been repaved, my mother came close to being run down in the crosswalk on Third Street at Grand.
Needless to say, if there was a list of people whom I would not wish to see run down in a crosswalk (and there is a rather lengthy one Ė it includes pretty much all of humanity Ė even my enemies) my mother would be at the very top.
Some of my readers might remember an incident that I was involved in about a year ago as I was crossing the street in the very same crosswalk. There was a five-car pile-up. The person at the crosswalk did as she was supposed to and stopped, but a car down the line just kept right on going, slamming the bumper of the car in front of him and creating a chain reaction.
I have rarely dared use that crosswalk again to this day. In fact, I have been known to get in my car and drive around the block to reach the Community Center, which is actually less than a block from my office.
The only scarier crosswalk in town is the one that crosses Third a block down at Main Street. Although there is a light there, people turning left accelerate like maniacs and never seem to even look for pedestrians. I cannot count the times I have leaped out of the way just in time to avoid being struck.
So, I would like to politely request that even though the crosswalks have yet to be painted on our lovely smooth new street, it would be very desirable and highly courteous if you would remember, as you make your way through the overcrowded streets of Grove, to watch out for pedestrians in the, for now, non-existent crosswalks.