Once, and for a long time, there was a public elementary school in Peninsula, across the street from the post office. For the most part, they rubbed along, amicably. How could they not, you ask? Well, parents of elementary students sometimes had as much self-control as their children, and thought nothing of commandeering the post office parking lot for important events in the lives of their children, like Christmas concerts, spring graduations, spring concerts, grandparent lunch days, and so forth and so on.
Posting notices to please not use the post office lot for overflow parking did not work; on the whole these parents seemed not to use the post office. So Sue, the Postmaster, took to posting signs outside. Eventually they had to include the threat of ticketing and towing, but grammar school parents learned to parallel park on the adjacent street, and taxpayers could again use the post office.
Then the school district completed its jillion dollar plan, and moved the elementary school to the educational campus on the old Quick Orchard. The building did not stay empty, no indeed. The elementary school building was sold to the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, which opened the Heritage Classical Academy, preschool through sixth grade.
The Academy opened a year ago. A year ago I seldom used the post office, so the resurgence of rude behavior went unnoticed by me. Until a recent Monday. I played cards, from one to three. I did not go home; I continued on to the post office, with towels to mail. I turned from Riverview to Bronson, to a dead halt in a line of traffic to turn into the school, two blocks away. Not to worry; they would not block the entrance to the post office, I decided, and proceeded cautiously up the hill.
Well, yes they would! I “double stopped” next to the car behind the post office drive. When the blockage car cleared, that car surely would notice my right turn blinker and let me in. Wrong. She pulled up to block the drive. I pulled beside her, rolled down my passenger window, to let out maximum noise, and blew the horn loudly. Eventually she cautiously glanced over. I extended my left index finger and stroked it a few times with the right. Surely any elementary school parent recognized the universal “Shame On You” notation. She looked away.
I made as much engine and brake noise as possible in half a block, turned right onto Emerson and right into the post office exit. I said to the nice young man, in the slew of turnover since Postmaster Sue, “Is your drive often blocked by parents at pick up time?”
“Oh, yes. They do it all the time.”
“You need a ‘Do Not Block Drive’ sign,” said I. “I’ll call the mayor.” And I came home.
I was barely in the door and my phone rang, with a call from a Restricted Number. I wonder how they do that?
The caller identified himself as The Mayor. “My god, that got through town awfully fast!” said I.
The Mayor said he actually wanted to talk business with me, but was mighty curious about what went through town so fast. I explained the rude young parent problem; he promised to bring up the sign to the Planning Commission, and now, he would like to ask me if I would be interested in the position of Fiscal Officer.
And I told him, had he asked me last June, when I was casting about for something meaningful to do again, I very likely would have told him “Yes.”
“But now, I have a job I like very much.”
Oh, the irony. I was the township fiscal officer for thirteen years, until the accident in DC. What goes around does not always come around. Hopefully excepting curing elementary school parents of rudeness.