The Norman Transcript


July 6, 2014

Road rash, string tops, & busted melon

NORMAN — A black cruiser rode by, both riders wearing full faced helmets. He wore long pants and a t-shirt. She might have been his daughter … small, young and I would imagine very pretty. I was pleased to see the helmet, but I grimaced at the thought of what could happen in an accident, as it all too often does, when the beloved passenger’s only protection, like hers, is gym shorts and a thin summer top. We never expect to have an accident.

I teach motorcycle safety. The stories come to me in many ways, and they all have a common refrain. “I never saw it coming.” “I had to lay it down,” is code for “I didn’t plan well, wasn’t scanning ahead and I failed to allow an adequate margin of safety.” Sometimes, the story is told by a third party because the subject is unable to speak.

Seeing this fragile loved one enjoying the thrill of riding, so trusting and confident, reminded me of an experience of my own. I stood at the parts counter in Palace Auto when a man shuffled through the door wearing metal crutches, the kind that clamp to your forearms.  I looked away, not wanting to stare at his condition as he squirmed his way to the counter beside me.

“Hi, Bill.” The voice was familiar, so I turned my head and saw what faintly resembled a fellow co-worker from a few years back.

“What happened?” I asked, now looking squarely at this poor soul who the last time I saw him had been the picture of health.

“Crashed my bike.”

I immediately suggested, “No helmet, huh?”

“Nope. I was just going to the store, a mile from where we used to work. I left my helmet on my desk. A truck turned in front of me … I wasn’t even going the speed limit. I tagged his rear bumper and hit the ground with my head. I only had a few small scratches, and a brain injury. I’ll never be the same. It sucks … it really sucks.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tax free starts today

    A few years ago, Oklahoma shoppers were getting used to driving south to take advantage of Texas’ tax-free weekend. The outlet mall on Interstate 35 near Gainesville was packed with as many Oklahoma tagged cars as those from Texas....

    August 1, 2014

  • Just wondering about things

    Editor, The Transcript: Why are our companies still investing so much in China, now that they own over a trillion dollars of our debt? Why is China pouring billions into their military and threatening many of their neighbors? Why don’t we ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Top conservatives, liberals

    Three local lawmakers made the lists of top 10 conservatives and top 10 liberals in the Oklahoma Constitution’s 2014 Conservative Index. Editor Steve Byas reported that it’s the 36th year for the publication’s index....

    August 1, 2014

  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014