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Don't Rush Me


Boy, are we predictable when it comes to . . .


Gas wars prompt the best in us?



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July 27, 2011 - The other week all the buzz around Metro Detroit centered around what was happening in Lake Orion.

Detroit radio stations broadcasted live from remotes here, daily newspapers were reporting on the goings on here and, well, like I said there was quite the buzz.

Unfortunately it wasn't about how wonderful this neck of the woods is, or any notable achievement.

The big media were not reporting on the state championship Dragon football team coming back to practice.

The media elite were not reporting about staying cool by frolicking in the crystal clear and cool waters of the lake with a constellation's name. Nope.

The heavyweights in journalism were creating spin about gas prices. (And, not the revolt that should happen because of the price gouging taking place this past year.)

Everything the bigwigs focused on were gas prices being $3.41 a gallon – about 30 to 40 cents a gallon cheaper than anywhere else in the state.

It was a bonanza for three local gas stations – the newly opened Kroger station, and two other stations less than a mile south, Admiral and Speedway.

All three were in a gas war and well, there were a lot of cars on M-24 in Lake Orion during that time.

I am sure the added attention by the corporate media giants didn't hurt. Drivers from all over swarmed the community where living is a vacation, all to fill their tanks and save $5 on the fillup.

Boy, how gullible and predictable are we. Sheep, I say, herded to selected locations; trained now to be happy to save a dollar a day for the work week.

Hey, I am not saying I'm special. I bought into it, waited in line for five or 10 minutes and payed 40 bucks to fillup. Not everybody was happy with the "war," though.

I received this e-mail from a former Lake Orion resident, Lisa Thierry.

* * *

Dear Don

I am writing this letter in response to the gas price war going on in Lake Orion among the three gas stations.

I was involved in a four-car accident just south of the Kroger gas station due to the number of people waiting in line — in the road — to pull into the station.

We were suddenly stopped even though the light ahead was green. I managed to stop in time but when I looked into my rear view mirror the man behind me was coming up very quickly and did not stop in time, rear-ending me.

That started a chain reaction causing me to rear-end a Dodge Caliber in front of me which then caused her to rear end a Jeep Liberty in front of her.

My truck, a Toyota 4 Runner has been paid off for several years so my husband and I only kept liability insurance on it, no collision.

My truck is totaled with damages in excess of $4,500. I will unfortunately only get $500 in compensation since Michigan is a No-Fault state.

As for the others I can't say how much it will cost them. We were all fortunate to walk away with our lives, banged up and bruised, but alive. My concern is what if we were the lucky ones? What if the next accident, and there will be more, causes someone to lose their life? All so people can save 40 cents a gallon?

My truck has a 13-gallon tank, which is a savings of $5.20. Is your life worth more than that to you? Mine is to me, as is my mom, sister, and grandmother who all drive that road every day of their lives.

* * *

Sorta makes me feel guilty I saved the $5.20. Sorta.

* * *

Don't forget the dunking extravaganza at Bonnie & Clyde Boutique in Clarkston, this Saturday (August 6) from 4 to 8 p.m. Live bands, local food vendors, too. Funds help build homes for U.S. who come home physically handicapped. I am slotted to be a dunkee at said event.

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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