A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – Traffic jams and jellybean jars

Finding a place to park my car has never been quite so difficult or expensive.

Things were not going well for me on Saturday morning. I arrived at the fall fair early enough to get an el-primo parking spot right across the road from the campground gate. But I soon discovered I’d left the battery for my camera plugged into the charger back at home.

I darn near cried as I pulled out of the el-primo spot because I knew when I got back I’d be parking a lot (no pun intended) farther away.

Sure enough, when I pulled in later the lower parking lots looked to be totally full so I drove straight up to the top field on the first road heading up there that I came across. Meanwhile the parking lot crews closer to the Rock Creek end were directing vehicles off the pavement to the top parking lot on a road at that end.

When I pulled onto the top parking lot there was still plenty of open space on the side that I had come up on but I noticed traffic coming up on the west side of the lot was being directed to fill in that end of the field first.

So what do I do? I drive on over to them and stop and wait for directions—should I pull left or right? Apparently neither—they waved me to back up and start a new row. So I did; and I backed right into the pickup behind me.

The vendors are a big part of the fall fair and I could hardly believe my luck. I wasn’t even out of the parking lot yet and I’d already arranged my big fall fair purchase for 2014: a really shiny, but bent Ford bumper.

This never would have happened if Special K had been along for the ride. We were a perfect couple. She always knew (and told me) exactly where I should park no matter what lot we pulled into. I wouldn’t have been over there bothering those other guys for directions.

Oh yes—as I walked to the gate from the parking lot I noticed someone just getting out of their SUV in the spot that I’d abandoned earlier.

The day got better.


The guiding principle I often use when writing is, “It doesn’t have to be exact, but it’s got to be accurate.”

It works for jellybean jars too. Each year Michele Caskey, volunteer director of the Boundary Area of the B.C. Lung Association, brings an information and awareness booth to the fair pavilion. Front and centre on her table each year sits a jar and she invites passers-by to guess how many jellybeans she’s got in it. This year she had 330 entrants; guesses ranged from 100 to 10,252.

There were 801 jellybeans in the jar and, while no one was exactly bang on, being close enough counted. The “without going over” rule was in effect so in 2014 there was a four-way tie with the number 800.

Congratulations to Mathias Hanlon and Jennifer Shields from Grand Forks, Betty Massie from Osoyoos and Jake Pazdzierski from Rock Creek.

Twelve-year-old Jennifer Shields’ name was drawn from the four and she won the antique jar and jellybeans. Caskey said the others will receive a consolation prize and she extends thanks to all those who participated in the contest and to everyone who visited the booth and obtained information provided by the B.C. Lung Association.


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