Mark 'Spanky' Gutierrez's Blog

It's Me.. Honest Its Me!!

The streets are filling up with snow again!

The streets are filling up with snow again!

This makes driving a super tense affair.

A friend of the family once gave me driving advice. I was considering buying a four wheel drive vehicle and he said to me “Just cause you can go, doesn’t mean you can stop!” Probably the best winter driving advice I ever got.

Slowing your car down in the north means starting to slow a full 100 yards away from the stop sign or obstacle in your path.  Nothing can happen at the last second, well other than sliding!

I was giving a friend a ride back to the other side of campus. Our first class of the day was canceled not by the university but by my instructor via email. He was kind enough to send it out the previous night but I hadn’t checked my school email account. Not, that I am bitter or anything… Anyway, the sky was grey, the snow was falling, and the streets had become ice and snow pack, making driving a risky endeavor. Two cars had slid through the intersection ahead of me and one of them I thought for sure was going to hit us. Right about then the CD player in my car, rotated CD’s and Bill Tapia’s Tropical Swing starts up. My buddy is visibly shocked by this. Bill is a ukulele player that grew up playing jazz standards on Hawaii cruise ships. You can hear Hawaii in his music. Mack the Knife fades away and Stardust starts up, the car was starting to warm and the trees were swaying in the trade winds. Even the windshield wipers seemed to match the tempo of Stardust. We both felt the tension ease and we rounded the slick corner with a little hula flick of the back end of my car. I pulled into a parking lot that is always full but the snow must have scared everyone off because it was nearly empty. I parked the car and let it run a little so we could hear Bill play the end of Stardust as the song ended I shut the car off. We opened the doors and the cold winter wind swept by us but our hearts had been lifted and our smiles returned to us. We left each other with a hearty Aloha, and for the rest of the day my irritation with the snow and ice had melted.


Mark Spanky Gutierrez


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