Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No Left Turns: Good Advice for Church and State

In "A Life without Left Turns," newspaper editor Michael Gartner quotes his father (who lived to the ripe old age of 102) as saying the secret to a long life is taking "No left turns, ... [as] most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception."

It appears our country and churches have a depth perception problem. May the USA and LCMS take note before we become roadkill -- if'n its not too late already.

A Life without Left Turns
Posted 6/15/2006 9:57 PM ET
By Michael Gartner

... My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.) He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church.

He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. (In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.") If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream.

As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?" "I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

"No left turns," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."

"What?" I said again. "No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."

"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." ...

Full story at:


anguskohler said...

OK are you posting as eotpr here?

I. M. Abaldy II said...


Was ist "eotpr?"

I am mainly posting as one who is tired of getting run over by politicians of church and state taking left turns regardless of the rules of the road that define the right of way -- scripture in the case of church, the constitution in the case of state.

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil." (Prov 4:25-27, NKJ)

I. M. Abaldy II said...

Hey Angus,

Finally found the eotpr comment. Now I understand yours.

No, it is not I, but his point is well made -- and taken.