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Back to Life!, and One More Death:P - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Back to Life!, and One More Death:P

I blow-dried my car this morning.

There. How often do you get a chance to say THAT?

We had a late-morning errand- picking up some fresh whole chickens from a family that sells them at the nearby farmers' market until winter shuts down the market but not the farm- and I'd hoped the windshield squirters would've thawed in the garage overnight.  Physics tip: shit don't thaw at 24F, which is the best it got out there.  So yeah, there we were, hairdryer running from a heavy-duty extension cord, blowing hot air into the spigots.

Nuthin. So up came the hood. Or rather, down went the hood.  This is another of the Smart car's little tricks that caught me by surprise. This is not my actual car-

- but it does illustrate how the hood basically hangs from a couple of tie-down straps with the squirter hoses going into the top of that hanging piece thar.  I am SO glad I discovered how this works in a nice safe car park and then our own garage, and not in the dark on the side of an interstate; it's also a bit of a bitch getting his Tab "A" pieces back into his Slot "B" pieces to shut the damn thing.  Eleanor's original salesperson explained this to her when she picked up Iggy; mine, not so much.

After a few minutes of stylin', we got the passenger side spigot working; that identified the clog as further downline, and moments later they were both clear and the hood back on.  Good tip from the missus: always give them a quick squirt before shutting down the car for the day/night, as the washer fluid is also at least a slightly anti-freezy liquid that should inhibit this next time.

We did our Chicken Run, then I ran some more errands, taking care of the tire pressure issue at the end.  I was not alone in this; lots more cars have those sensors and idiot lights now, and there was a bit of a queue behind me at my third try.  They're all blowed up real good now to door-side spec:)


Then there was mail.  In it, from my sister, was belated word that 2016 had claimed another victim in its dying days.

She sent a note along with a newspaper clipping- respectively, about and by a Binghamton journalist named Dave Rossie.  He is not to be confused with Dave Ross, a similarly snarky political commentator of the airwaves who appears on various radio shows and segments affiliated with CBS. He's still alive (though if I were him I'd check the driveway for guys in black hoods bearing farm implements).

I also always associated the localer, and now deader, Rossie with yet another journalist: Joe Rossi, the star reporter on the long-running Lou Grant drama. (He was played by Robert Walden, who was also still alive at last check.)  I'd see Dave Rossie's pieces in the Binghamton papers when I visited Donna, and they occasionally got syndicated to Gannett organs in Ithaca or Rochester when I lived in those places.  I did not know, until I got this note, that he specialized in writing about education- perhaps because he married a Long Islander from two towns over from where we grew up, and who even taught in East Meadow at one point. A Binghamton native, he was 87 when he died, and his former paper (now singular, and heading for about a third of its former self) has been rerunning some of his columns all month in his memory.  This is the one she sent me- a Christmas column he wrote in 1998, which really resonated with her first Christmases on her own in Binghamton, living in an apartment I vaguely remember in the shadow of the Binghamton Plaza that he refers to near the end:

Fresh in mind, although it was at least 25 years ago, is a Christmas incident I witnessed at the Binghamton Plaza. I was loitering outside one of the stores, waiting for my wife to emerge, when I became aware of two young boys who had stopped in front of me.

They were about 8 and 10, respectively. Their shoes were scuffed, their hair sorely needed cutting, and their pinched faces suggested that neither of them was guilty of overeating.

The larger of the two was carrying a shopping bag that contained a few packages.

"How much have we got left?" he asked his companion, who promptly reached into a pocket and withdrew a couple of crumpled bills and some change, which he counted and reported.

The larger boy's face lit up. "Oh good," he said, or something like that. "That means we've got enough left to get something for (I can't recall the name he used) and then we'll be done."

I remember that moment, not because of what was said, but because the boy who said it was wearing a coat that was about two sizes too large for him and was held closed by a safety pin.

He was a pauper, but for that brief moment, at least, he didn't know it. He had discovered the spirit of giving, the spirit of Christmas if you will, and it had transformed him.

Rest in peace, Dave. You had spunk. And unlike Joe Rossi's boss Lou Grant, we LOVE spunk:)

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