25 July 2006 by Published in: General News 5 comments

Last week, I visited the final resting place of Ulric Dahlgren. Today, I visited the place where he was killed and where his body was temporarily buried for a day or two. And it cost me $85.00. I’ll explain.

First, greetings from Richmond. I’m writing from the beautiful Omni Hotel, which is at the corner of 12th and Canal Streets. It’s gorgeous, and very plush. The LBHA knows how to do this right.

I spent nearly 8 hours driving to get here. I had planned the trip so that I would have time to drive the thirty or so miles to the spot where Dahlgren fell, which is in King and Queen County, near Walkerton, northeast of Richmond. All worked out well. I got to Dahlgrens Corner, as the place is known today, about 5:30, shot my photos, walked around a bit to get the lay of the land, and then started heading back to Richmond. I will post the photos when I get home to Ohio.

I was talking to Susan on the cell phone while driving. I came to a very sharp curve and, because I had to steer with one hand, drifted out beyond the center line, and damned near ran a Virginia state trooper off the road. I looked in the rear view mirror, saw him swerve, and then just pulled over and sat and waited for him, because I knew he’d be coming. Sure enough, I see the lights come up behind me. When he got to the car, I already had the window open. I didn’t even let him get the “Do you know why I stopped you?” out and instead said, “I guess I went left of center, huh?” He said yes, that I had nearly run him off the road. I apologized, accepted responsibility, and then waited. He looked at my license and registration, and decided that since I’d been honest and forthright, he’d cut me a little slack and only cite me for going left of center and not reckless operation. Hence, the $85, which is how much the fine is.

He asked me what I was doing there–I guess they don’t see many Ohio license plates around those parts–and he told me that his house is right there at Dahlgrens Corner. I proceeded to tell him the story about why that spot was significant, and he really got into it. We shook hands, he told me that the next time I come visit, to visit him and not run him off the road. We both laughed and that was that.

There really was no doubt about it. I DID almost run him off the road, and he had every right to be pissed about it. Since I didn’t give him attitude or blow him any shit, he gave me a break. The lesson is, always tell these guys the truth. They can tell when you’re bullshitting them, and they will be much easier to deal with if they think you’re being a straight shooter with them. They’re just doing their jobs.

So, I got to visit the spot where Ully died, and I will get to pay $85.00 for the privilege. Ah, well. Such is life.

I have a busload of 60 to take to Trevilians tomorrow. Should be a good day.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Thu 27th Jul 2006 at 9:49 am

    What a story, Eric… sounds as though you handled the situation correctly, and now you have a “friend” in the area! Good luck today, I hope you have a great tour.
    J.D.

  2. Valerie Protopapas
    Thu 27th Jul 2006 at 10:56 am

    Tsk, tsk! The problem was talking on the phone while driving. In New York, you cannot talk on a hand-held phone (although you can talk on one of those headphones things), but to my mind, driving is so bloody dangerous anyway with all the kooks and their VERY large vehicles on the road that doing ANYTHING – even listening to loud music – distracts the driver. You were most fortunate that you didn’t run into an 18 wheeler as you came round the bend. It could have cost you far more than $85 – it could have cost you everything you have!

    Please folks, be like the Buddhists whose philosophy is simple: do what you’re doing when you’re doing it and not six other things at the same time. Drive when you drive, make phone calls when you make phone calls. Mixing the two can be hazardous to both your wallet and your health. I’m glad in your case, it was only the former and not the latter.

    V.

  3. Mike Nugent
    Thu 27th Jul 2006 at 5:02 pm

    No doubt “honesty is the best policy” in such situations. As one of those on the “thin blue line” I certainly appreciate it when people are straight forward with me. If the circumstances are such that we’re deciding between letting someone off with a warning vs. a summons or summonsing them for a lesser violation than a more serious one, it can’t help but work in their favor when they’re being calm and honest. On the other hand the obnoxious, obstreperous argumentive guy is probably less likely to find himself on the more understanding end of our discretion.

    Have to agree with some of Valerie’s points too while also admitting to being guilty of too much “multitasking” when I drive. (Actually cops are probably among the worst offenders when we’re working. Radios, cell phones, computers, lights, sirens etc. etc.) Also true that it makes little difference if your on a hands-free phone or not. The distraction of the conversation is what causes the problem.

    Anyway, glad to hear everyone emerged unscathed and you added another site to the “visited” column on the list of obscure CW Cavalry sites!

  4. Thu 27th Jul 2006 at 9:01 pm

    Guys,

    I know, I know. It was dumb. I acknolwedge that.

    All I could do was to try ot handle it the right way, and I think that I managed to do just that.

    Ah, well. Live and learn.

    Eric

  5. Valerie Protopapas
    Fri 28th Jul 2006 at 8:50 am

    I think that your natural honesty and integrity guaranteed that you would respond as you did to the policeman.

    On the other hand, your natural intelligence and active mind led you astray. You were trying to make use of what might have seemed (especially if the driving was dull at that point) a ‘dead spot’ in the day to accomplish some other little task and not let the time go to waste. It’s like trying to carry that one more small item up the stairs to avoid having to make the trip again or trying to fit one more errand in before you have to get to the office or arrive at the movies. Busy, active people are like that; it’s natural and not problematic except for the fact that technology now allows us to take on these ‘little tasks’ at a time when, in the past, that would not have been possible.

    The result is – at least it seems to me – that we don’t really get to enjoy the concentration of our thoughts on the matter at hand. We are either thinking about what we DID or what we are GOING TO DO and as a result, the present gets short shrift. And while that can lead to a decrease in our enjoyment of the film or the luncheon, when this type of behavior is extended to things like driving or even walking down the street (how many people have you seen wander into the street without looking and nearly be hit by a car?), the results can be far more catastrophic.

    It takes actual will power to overcome the seeming demand of today’s culture that NOT ONE SECOND be allowed to pass without some sort of activity filling it. People walk around with phones in their ears everywhere you go. Children have ‘schedules’ which are often every bit as busy as those of businessmen. Food is gulped down and even ‘entertainment’ is enjoyed with an eye on the clock for the next activity in the never ending schedule. There is little or no silence. Stores have soundtracks that run from acid rock to golden oldies and everyplace in between. It’s sad, really.

    I’m glad you are taking the time to enjoy yourself in Richmond (I only spent one day and two nights there). I’m even more glad that you have lived to tell us about it! 😀

    V.

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