September 18th, 2019


All Those Orange Witches

By G. E. Shuman

I am not quite sure what’s going on, but all over Central Vermont something strange seems to be happening. If you live in our region, and if you drive a car, you may already know what I am hinting at here.

It seems that, for some unknown reason, or at least it’s an unknown reason to me, just about every Central Vermont city, town, village, hamlet and farm cow path is undergoing some type of major road construction… and all at once. All I can think is that there must be a big sale on asphalt going on, somewhere, but I’m sure city budget planners would disagree with that idea. On some streets they might be laying new water and/or drainage pipes, and on others they are repaving. In many places, like on our street, they are doing both. The pavement on our street was taken up over a month ago, and it seems like the construction crew just forgot to come back one day. They even left their equipment behind. Oh well, I guess a dirt road is better than no road at all.

I’m not really complaining, because I’m glad our streets are being redone. It just gives me the impression that all these towns are trying to eat the whole elephant in one bite. Maybe doing a few streets at a time would be better? I know that they know what they’re doing, and I don’t. like I said, it’s just an impression.

A friend of mine mentioned to me that none of us will remember how to drive in a straight line, after dodging raised drainage covers for so long. Although that may be true, I’m not really worried about it. My family thinks I don’t try very hard to dodge them, anyway.

Recently my wife and I took a trip across ol’ Route 2, from Barre, through New Hampshire, and into Central Maine. If you haven’t taken that road in a while, I can tell you that those other states are no better, (Or no worse, depending on how you look at it.) than our state is. There seem to be orange and black construction signs just about everywhere. On that trip across to Maine I told my wife that I wished I owned whatever company makes those signs or at least be the guy who supplies all that orange paint. I know those signs are very important. I just wonder if someone, somewhere, is building a huge warehouse to keep them in (if and when) the construction ends. If not, I know that orange roofs are pretty popular in some areas of Canada. (Although they don’t usually have the words SLOW or YIELD on them. At least I don’t think they do.) Still, New England towns could sell those things off for shingles, or maybe trade them with the country to the north for maple syrup. (I forgot, we already have that.) Anyway, I’m sure that about six of those bad boys would cover a whole side of a roof in no time! Isn’t it worth a try?

I remember hearing someone joking, years ago, about construction cones. You know, those orange rubber cones that are used everywhere there is any road construction going on? That guy said that they are not what they appear to be, but, are, in reality, orange witches buried up to their hats. I can’t even see one of those cones without remembering that. Now you’re going to have the same problem. Sorry, (a little.)

Please don’t get me wrong. No one wants our roads to be smooth and free of potholes and frost heaves more than I do. I’m glad we have the hard-working crews and the equipment to make that happen. I do hope most of the work is completed soon because I can see another road project right on the horizon. Halloween is coming, and someone is going to have to dig up all those orange witches.

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