Editor's Notes: Even this former cruiser has no rationale for activity
Somewhere among the news the last few weeks, the subject of cruising came up. Then I noticed the "No Cruising Allowed" sign at the city's edge. Then there was a letter writer lamenting the passing of what she thought was harmless entertainment.
We're talking about the act of driving a car, usually full of young adults, back and forth or around a circuit to see and be seen. Sort of hanging out in motion with loud music and the windows rolled down.
The letter writer, Louise, mentioned the routes from Marysville to Yuba City and back again, muscle cars, car-hops. "It's a thing of the past. Glad I was there," she wrote.
Me, too. My cruising era was in the early '70s and wasn't so much about fast cars … in fact, our fleet was sort of rough and tumble. (Who had money for mag wheels?) I don't know, exactly, why driving back and forth through town was so entertaining, but it seemed natural. It was like waiting for a miracle … you went out and did the miles and somewhere along the line something interesting happened. Maybe our standards for "interesting" wore away with every repetition of the route through town (my hometown was about the same size as Marysville, maybe stretched out a little). It could have been the joy of just driving … we'd all waited years to get a license and, finally, we could be out on our own.
We wouldn't mind hearing from more of you cruisers. What made it work for you? What sights and sounds do you remember? And, do kids really not cruise anymore, or are they just less conspicuous?
Send us your thoughts.
Speaking of driving, we like the tactics being taken by Yuba City police to make neighborhoods safer.
They're targeting residential neighborhoods for traffic patrol and they're telegraphing all of us about it ahead of time. It's a good, community-minded approach. Their real goal isn't to write tickets — it's to make the streets safer. By publicizing where they're looking, more of us get the message and slow down ahead of time … hopefully.
The Neighborhood Speed Awareness Program kicked off a week or so ago on Royo Rancho Drive and Helen Avenue and continues through the month of February.
Not only are they not worried about the number of tickets they give out, they're giving violators a way out: Speeders can go to a two-hour course and then have the citations nullified.
Police say that more than 27 percent of major wrecks in 2012 were caused or contributed to by excessive speed.
And congrats to members of the Marysville High School academic decathlon team. In a gritty competition reported by Rob Parsons and David Bitton in last Sunday's edition, the team beat out competitors from other local schools and will compete in March at the statewide event in March.
It was good for Gov. Jerry Brown to see a lot of Northern California agri-business people sitting in the hall when he visited and spoke at the Agricultural Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday.
He got to see that there is plenty of interest here in what is going on, he got to wear his plaid shirt and mix in and feel like regular people … and I'm not saying that facetiously. Empathy from elected leaders is a good thing, whether you agree with them or not.
I can't believe they're ditching the iron. It was my second favorite choice, right after the ship. (In case you hadn't read the little brief we printed Thursday, the makers of the board game Monopoly replaced the iron player piece with a cat. It balances out the dog, I guess.)
It really didn't matter what I wanted at the Monopoly game table because I was the youngest and I was going to get what was left over anyway.
It seemed that no one else ever wanted the iron. I liked it: plain and simple, but flat and substantial. "Stay out of my way, I've got an iron."