Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation in April to make Daylight Savings Time permanent in Georgia. Federal action, however, is now required for implementation.
One of my regular readers suggested I encourage our elected officials in Washington, D.C. to get busy and make it happen. My other regular reader said he doesn’t care which time we use but he’s tired of resetting his clocks twice a year. That’s my feeling too, so I’ve decided to support the push toward DST, unless there’s an option to split the difference.
First, however, I should acknowledge the strong possibility that not a single person in our nation’s capital reads my column. There is a high probability that none of the power brokers along the Potomac are interested in my opinions. I shouldn’t complain though, as I feel the same way about them.
I’m kidding of course, except when I’m not. The truth is my confidence in people on either side of the aisle is at an all-time low. There’s a huge leadership void in both parties. Partisan politics have become the norm. The days of eloquent statesmen engaged in meaningful debate toward negotiated solutions are gone. A good referee would throw both teams out of the game. Or maybe he wouldn’t if he saw who’s waiting to play. The benches are full but sorely lacking in talent.
I don’t know all the pros and cons of DST. Before I retired from banking, I enjoyed having that extra hour of daylight after getting home in the afternoon. It concerned me, however, that small children were waiting for buses in darkness or needed flashlights for their walks to school.
Someone, I assume, has asked the kids what they think. It might be worth polling their parents too, but the youngest among us give the most honest answers. It takes a while for children to learn that truth has consequences. But they eventually learn by watching us that it’s easier to keep quiet.
The recent mention of DST reminded me of a lady named Ida Mae Sanders who was dear to our family. She helped my wife keep our home tidy when our triplets were in their formative years. That was several decades ago, but it’s still easy to hear her laugher when she referred to DST as “that fast time.”
“I’ll take you home whenever you’re ready,” I would say. “I got to hurry up,” she’d laughingly respond. “We’re on that fast time now!” Her running comment was funny to both of us although I’m not sure why. Thankfully, laughter between good friends seldom needs an explanation.
“Time is sure flying by,” I’d heartily agree. My affirmation didn’t really mean anything. It was simply a way to extend our grins for a moment longer.
Ida Mae didn’t drive, so Jane or I would usually pick her up and take her home. Sometimes, however, she rode with Mr. Willie “Taxi” Green. Although well into his senior years, he owned and operated Vienna’s sole transportation service. His unmarked car was easy to spot around town at places like Stephens Super Foods and Forbes Drugs. For three dollars more he’d take you to Cordele. Another three bills would get you home.
Rather than having a meter on his dashboard Mr. Willie used the one affixed to the top of his neck. When I once asked how long he’d been in the taxi business he abruptly replied, “I don’t have a taxi!” Then he spoke with soft caution although the two of us were alone. “I just haul people,” he said.
Having a taxi would have required a permit, extra insurance, upgraded driver’s license, standardized meter, and adherence to regulations written by people who had never driven a cab. Riding in a taxi would have cost folks a lot more than his standard fares. His business model may not have been quite legal, but he took a lot of people where they wanted to go and didn’t charge much to get them there.
My rambling recollections don’t have anything to do with whether Daylight Savings Time should last all year long or not, but that topic reminded me of Ida Mae’s cheerful disposition. And reminiscing about her led me to think about Mr. Willie’s practical approach to getting things done.
I hope the officials in Washington, D.C. will allow DST for Georgia. But what I wish for most is that they would act more like Ida Mae and Mr. Willie. Cheerful demeanors are in short supply among our nation’s leaders. And practical solutions now seem impractical. If that doesn’t change soon it may be too late because I believe Ida Mae was right. “We’re on that fast time now.”