Saturday, August 27, 2011

Between the White Lines

I was asked a question the other day about the reference to between the white lines which I have on my masthead.

I thought it an funny question, because the reference seems so obvious to me--but upon reflection, I guess it may be a generational issue which created the question.

Roads have been a part of my life for my whole life. I am getting older--I still remember when yield signs were yellow with black letters.

The reference then, is to a highway. The white lines mark the edges of the road. On rural highways, there are no lines in the center of the road to mark lanes--it is just a ribbon of blacktop with two white lines. Drive between the lines.

Those who really know me, know that I am a country boy at heart. So I remember those roads.

When we lived in Germany, there was a back road I used to drive from the place I worked to the small base, Neubrueke, where we lived. It had white lines on the sides and one night, on my way home, I was driving a bit too fast and my old car, the only Mercedes I ever owned, slid off the road into the ditch while rounding a curve. I failed to keep the car between the white lines.

Finally, there is a Garth Brooks song: Much too Young (To Feel This Damn Old). There is a reference in the chorus of the song to a white line getting longer which I believe is a reference to the times before the roads were marked with yellow lines in the center. I remember when roads used to be marked with only white lines--the sides and the center.

And the white line's getting longer and the saddle's getting cold
I'm much too young to feel this damn old
All my cards are on the table with no ace left in the hole
And I'm much too young to feel this damn old

And so, there you have it. My white lines. I can still see that old green Mercedes off the road in the ditch. Fortunately it did not roll, but it should have.

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