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Bring back the wave

Gary Lindstrom

As I am driving down Main Street Breckenridge several times a day, (do not ask me why<I just drive back and forth on Main Street a lot) I will miss one thing as our guests leave: The wave.Yes, the wave. You know that thing that polite people do when you do something nice. You know, a gesture of friendship.I get the wave a lot on Main Street. People wave because I always stop to let them walk across the street. Each time I stop for them to cross, I get the wave. Maybe that is why I drive up and down Main Street a lot. Friendship. Recognition.Jerry Seinfeld did a routine on the wave a few years ago. His schtick was about fellow drivers who wait for you to pull into traffic. He did an entire routine on the importance of the wave. If someone stops to let you into traffic, you must give him or her the wave.I lived in New York City off and on for almost 10 years in the 1960s, and I know what he was talking about. If you do not let someone into traffic, you will not get the wave and probably will be thumped at the next red light. It is a matter of the public enforcing its own behavior in traffic. If you cut someone off or fail to yield to him or her, you are placing yourself in jeopardy.It is not like that in Denver. I have written about this before, but Denver drivers are the worst. It is probably because they all learned how to drive in pastures in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa and never were thumped for failing to let someone into traffic.Our last sheriff, Delbert Ewoldt, (yes, that is his real name) waved at everyone. By everyone, I mean everyone. Every car on the road got a wave from Delbert. It did not make any difference if you lived in Summit County or not. Delbert waved. I even had a certain social science teacher at the high school complain to me once that he had followed Delbert down the road and that Delbert had waved at everyone. He wanted to know what that was all about. The 3all about was that Delbert waved at everyone.Delbert grew up in a farming community in Nebraska. I grew up in a farming community in Iowa. It was a requirement that you waved. Waved to everyone. You could be working two miles from the road, a car would go by, and you would wave. And they would wave back. It could have been an axe murderer and you would wave. And the drivers would wave back, hopefully without the axe.There are several kinds of waves. One includes the entire hand with all of the fingers extended. That is a nice, friendly wave. The other kind of wave was the Delbert (farmer) wave when you would extend your forefinger from your top hand on the steering wheel. That is a nice wave, too. The other wave you see more often in New York and Denver is the wave using just your middle finger extended. That is not a nice wave, and is sort of the antitheses of the friendly wave, if you catch my drift.In Palestine right now, the fighting might stop if everyone waved. It is hard to wave with a gun in your hand. You can1t extend all your fingers and wave if you are holding a grenade.On the count of three let1s all smile, wave, and see what happens.Gary Lindstrom is a Summit County commissioner and regular columnist for the Summit Daily News.


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