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Uncommon good fortune turned into a fiasco

By JIM BUSEK • Jul 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Two or three mornings each week I swim at Ernsthausen Recreation Center, The Rec.

It’s an easy drive from my home, down Old State Road, left on Gallup Avenue, right on Republic St. Bam. I’m there in seven or eight minutes.

However, in case you haven’t noticed, Old State has been closed between Executive Drive and Woodlawn Avenue for several weeks now. A major inconvenience, especially at morning swim time.

I have tried various circuitous routes, usually involving six or more streets.

But a few mornings ago, I decided to try a straight shot from Executive Drive on U.S. 250 all the way to Gallup.

Risky, I know. There are nine traffic lights on that path.

But listen to this: I hit (almost) every one of them on green. I slid through the heart of town like I had a police escort.

The light at Executive and Benedict turned green as I approached.

Likewise the one at Benedict and Elm.

I was at the tracks at the bottom of Benedict Hill when the light at Seminary twinkled green.

And it seemed like the one at Main by the courthouse stayed green longer than usual, just so I could tell you about it.

When the one at Benedict and Monroe streets cycled to green at just the right moment, I knew I was on a roll.

Sure enough, the signal at Benedict and League streets went verdant as I got close. And I got a huge smile on my face when the one at the Milan Avenue end of League did the same.

My perfect record was spoiled at Milan and Cline steet, there by Vargo’s, when a red light held me up for about 10 seconds. But I’ll take it.

The light at Milan and Gallup clicked to “go” almost simultaneously.

And I didn’t even have to wait to turn beneath the signal at Gallup and Republic, traffic light number nine on my quest to swim.

Inside the locker room at The Rec, I was opening my gym bag, anxious to brag about my uncommon good fortune.

That’s when I discovered I didn’t have my swim suit with me. I had failed to pack it after drying it at home after the previous swim.

So I had to go back home and get it.

Can you see it coming?

Right: on my return home most of those green lights were red.

And then they got me again on the way back to the Rec.

I ended up spending most of an hour just driving to and from the place that is usually just a few minutes’ drive each way.

It would be easy just to blame that construction on Old State Road for my troubles.

But then again, I’m the one who forgot to pack his swim trunks.


Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] hotmail.com.

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