Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Of Time and Tide

But mostly Tide.

I was over at Suzy's blog (thanks for following, Mizz Suzy - soon I'll have enough minions to take over Blogopolis...or at least the corner cafe) reading about a fund-raising program, and even though I am not part of the BlogHer network...what the hey...I figured I'd play along anyway.

P&G (Proctor and Gamble for folks who don't speak Initials or Abbreviations) has a nifty program going on, wherein they are selling vintage-look Tide T-shirts to help fund Loads of Hope.

I've seen blurbs about Loads of Hope before, and I must say - ingenious. When you see nature pounding the crap out of a community, laundry is the last thing you think they may need doing. Probably, you think food, water, shelter, maybe pets or evacuation...but clean clothes? Hmm...not so much.

But think about it. When you have been out in foul weather, playing or tarping the roof, or just trying to get into the house from the car, and you get inside all wet and cold and mucky...do you want to sit around in those clothes, or do you want to slip into something cozy, clean, and warm? So if families, communities, are covered in muck, wet, cold, devastated...wouldn't clean things just be a blessing? I think so. So, to the point. Click the t-shirt link or go to Suzy's and click hers (it's bigger) - if you use these specific links, you help show how useful social networking and blogging can be, and apparently there's a friendly rivalry going on between networks...and since one day I'd like to suckle at the BlogHer teat (yes, yes I did type that), I'm using their link.

And now a little Tide-back-in-time story.

A long time ago, when the world was new and working as a corner marshall (back then we called it "F&C") was still fun, we worked just about every weekend at Road Atlanta. Back then, they didn't have the cement walls, Jersey barriers, fencing, and widened track - it was raw, rough, often dusty, muddy, and filthy. Corner workers wear white in order to be more visible than the terrain, the flags, and the spectators.

Road Atlanta is in Georgia. North-ish Georgia. North-ish Georgia is famous for several things - the Mayfield visitor's center where you can get fresh-scooped ice cream cones that are the size of a cat's head for a quarter, chicken farms and the smell they perfume the early morning air with, small towns selling themselves to mediocre actresses, and red clay soil.

The old track had many, many banks which workers would run along and then slide down to reach "incidents", a fancy word for "wrecks".

I repeat - we wore white clothing, played at a greasy, grimy, dirty track, and slid down red clay embankments to reach dirty, nasty race cars that had likely spilled fluids, were possible in flames, and definitely landed in the most difficult places to reach.

When it was a dry day, the clay turned into a fine, fine dust. When cars drove off course, they would kick up a cloud that floated for ages before settling back down - only to be kicked up again by another car. We breathed that dust in, squinted through it, and knew we'd be sneezing red and scrubbing dust off our faces for days.

When it was wet, the clay got slick, sticky, and nasty. No matter where we worked a race in the world, people knew we'd been at Road Atlanta by the clay stains on our whites.

It was only a matter of time before we instituted The Tide Challenge. It was very simple - the worker who had the nastiest, most clay/dust smirched whites at the end of the weekend won a jumbo bottle of Tide. It did a fine job of getting most of the clay out, better than anything else, really...but nothing can get all of the stuff out in the wash. I won a few bottle, myself, thanks to some spectacular incidents, a few wobbly tire walls full of water and ick, and more than one really long slide down a bank.

The smell of Tide is indelibly linked in my mind to the smell of Nomex, racing fuel, clay, and the unique perfume of a road-racing course on a summer's day when the biggest worry I had was whether I could make the bus back to school and would the professor mind if there were clay stains on my homework.


darsden said...

Wow, what a link, what post to a link. Cool Beans, you did Suzy proud!

Kyddryn said...

Darsden, welcome - thanks for popping by! Always happy to lend a hand...erm...post...to people doing good things.