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Ronan's report

Saturday December 23rd, 2006

Now I sort of thought this was a regular thing... everywhere. But after asking a couple people, it turns out this might just be an US thing, a Western US thing, and further might be just a rural Western US thing. If it is such a provincial thing, then consider this a friendly travel tip.

I'm talking about the subtle wave, the nod, the little piece of recognition given when you cross paths with someone out in the country. Maybe you've seen it in the movies when a cowboy nods slightly and maybe gives a pinch on the brim of his hat, sort of saying "Howdy. Nice bit of sky here. Just passin' by." and a bit of "I got my business taken care of. Nothing you need to worry about."

It's mostly given on the road nowadays, out in small towns, back roads, forest tracks, and desert trails. A couple fingers lifted from the top of the steering wheel or a quick nod. Some of sort of non-verbal thanks for slowing down and yielding some of the road and small promise that if I saw you stuck in a ditch, I'd stop to pull you out.

Doesn't seem to take much effort, so I always wonder what's going on in the head of the guy avoiding recognition out in the middle of nowhere. I get sort of squinty-eyed and suspicious thinking they might not be the type of folk wanted around here.

No one is going to go deliverance on you if you don't nod, but the guy you just snubbed today might be the guy you're asking for a jump-start, tow, or ride. Or for access to that meadow spring creek tomorrow.

Pic Of Day Riverrocks

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