May 22 • 07:43 AM

Readers' stories too good to pass up

September 26, 2007
I truly love it when something I've written in this particular space prompts something from someone. It helps in so many ways. Whether I hear these things from people I've never met or those I've met once or twice or those who know me quite well, I always appreciate it more than I can say. And, of course, it's often too good to keep to myself...

...This came in from a business professional who related to a recent column I wrote about the benefits of going local when it comes to getting certain things done.

Linda Knop took a few moments of her personal time to share the following great story:

I just read your column about the "help" phone lines that are staffed by someone that is obviously "not local."

In October of 2005 my husband was coming home from work along northbound I-75 from Auburn Hills (Chrysler Corp.) and happened to hit a patch of black ice near the Palace. His brand new Dodge was not at all responsive to the situation and ended up turning completely around—now headed southbound in the northbound lane—and losing the entire back axle, smashing the truck box. He's watching one of the rear wheels zoom across the highway into the ditch, and then watches the traffic heading toward him at a pretty good clip. He took assessment of his injuries—bumps only!

Well, this new truck is equipped with a phone number that you're supposed to call when things go terribly wrong—like they just did. He calls the number and tells the person what happened and asks her to send help. He explains that he just wrecked the truck and that he's located in the wrong direction on I-75 near the Palace (we all know where the Palace is, right?)

The operator proceeds to ask him "whose Palace?" He says "well, it's the one in Auburn Hills," to which her response is "but whose Palace? I don't understand this 'Auburn Hills, Michigan."

The conversation goes in this vein for quite some time, with my husband becoming increasingly unhappy with this "customer service." After he ends the call abruptly, he calls 911, gets in touch with the police, wrecker and all the help he needed. Everyone knew where the Palace in Auburn Hills was located, and they all spoke English!

I just wanted to share this story, which is getting somewhat more amusing than it was when he was actually needing emergency services. Lesson learned—go local.

Last week's little rambling about reaching my 50th birthday drew this response from Beth Haney-Heckart. I don't know Beth, so I don't know where she lives, but I do know from her response that she used to live around here...

...I enjoyed your column "Over the hill, but adventure's far from over" in the Sept. 19 issue. I particularly enjoyed reading about Brent Avery. The Avery family lived next to our family (Haney) on Brenlyn Lane. Brent's parents and my parents were and still are close friends. They would host a spectacular day out at the Elk Lake cottage. I saw Brent at an early age water ski and then graduate to water skiing barefoot. Such a loving family—which is why I'm writing you. Brent's dad is Dr. Charles Avery. Dallas Avery is Brent's uncle. I am sure you have had phone calls by now about the error.

Thank you for writing about Brent. It brought back some very happy childhood memories...

No, thank you, Beth.

Here's something from veterinarian and humanitarian extraordinaire Dr. Jim Sillers, who picked up his pen (actually typed on his keyboard) after my vent about comments people make—especially when it comes to my birth mark. As much as I'd love to share the entire thing, I'm going to leave it up to the next reader who runs into him to ask him a certain question and get the good doctor's hilarious and beautifully fitting answer firsthand...

...I have a birth mark above my right eye below my eyebrow. At times it is more red than other times. It depends a lot on how hot it is outside or maybe which way the wind is blowing. I have never been able to understand why it gets more red at times. Anyway, when people say "What is wrong with your eye?" I tell them...

Then I ask "Is it red now?" It gets me a lot of very strange looks, but who cares...

Absolutely. "Who cares" has become my new motto.

I'll share more as space allows. Cletta Juip's Italian grandmother joke is too good to keep to myself, as are Evelyn Dewey's little trips down memory lane, Marilyn Rheaume's words of encouragement and Sally Reinhardt's shots in the arm about all sorts of things...including hitting the big five-oh, which according to Sally's email gives me permission to party all month long.

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Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 22 - 19
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