Speeder slowed in Van Buren County
The Ledger’s regular driver who takes papers to Van Buren County everyday has been under the weather and it was my turn to fill in yesterday.
Dick Corry has been running the Birmingham, Stockport and Keosauqua route for years. He’s so reliable it’s easy to forget what he does.
So I took off for Birmingham at 2:50 p.m. knowing that I had to be in Keosauqua before 3:45 p.m. when the post office closes down there.
While one eye was firmly fixed on the clock, I was watching the speedometer with the other. The last time I ran Dick’s route, April 16, 2007, I got the only speeding ticket of my entire driving history.
I came across the ticket tucked away in my office desk a few months ago. That’s how I recalled the date, the $89.60 fine and the name of the Iowa State Patrol officer. He clocked me going 69 miles per hour about three miles south of Birmingham on my return trip.
Why I was in such a hurry is a mystery. I recall the song on the radio though. Country singer David Allen Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” was playing and I had just turned up the volume. There was a dip and a turn in the road. Coming up the hill, I saw the trooper, looked at my speedometer, pulled over on the shoulder and waited for the inevitable.
The whole experience slowed down my driving. I met the trooper, David Saldivar, a few months later at Casey’s South in Fairfield and told him so.
The country group Alabama sings a song, “I’m in a Hurry and Don’t Know Why.” Being in a hurry wasn’t such a big deal after the ticket.
Yesterday, I took my time and enjoyed Van Buren County. And even made it to the Keosauqua Post Office by 3:37 p.m.
There was a Birmingham street all torn up with construction. I made a mental note of coming back for a picture and alerting our newsroom. I always enjoy the seven-mile drive between Birmingham and Stockport. Up and down for a while, then perfectly flat just before coming into Stockport. The old meat locker in Stockport is now a grassed over vacant lot.
Pulling into Keosauqua, I always feel like I should be farther than 20 miles from Fairfield. It’s always felt like a vacation spot to me.
The first time I went to the Lacey Keosauqua Park beach with the kids, it felt like a time warp to beach visits when I was a kid. They were selling Cokes, hot dogs and French fries at the concession stand that sits more than 100 flagstone steps above the beach. People were renting paddleboats and canoes. The kids loved it.
My last stop with Ledgers was at the Circle B convenience store. The place was packed with Barkers employees getting off work at 3:30 p.m. I stopped at the Van Buren County Register to see Rusty Ebert, but he was out. Donna Muir let me poke around the office. She pointed out the floor cracks from the 1993 flood. The newspaper is a printing museum with old stuff everywhere.
On the way out of town there was a border collie-type dog herding a bunch of cows through a gate. Fascinating.
I didn’t look at the clock until I was back in Jefferson County.
Jeff Wilson is publisher of The Fairfield Ledger.