A wave hello to begin the day

Notes to self:

Every day when I come to work, I always pay attention to a school crossing guard stationed at one of the intersections on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pa. She definitely looks like any other crossing guard you’ve ever seen, dressed in a dayglo yellow coat and carrying a stop sign in her left hand.

Letter postmarked May 14, 1986 from my grandpap in Monessen, Pa

But if you continue to watch for a few more seconds, you notice something a bit different. She waves hello to every car, SUV, and bus that criss-crosses the roads where she is stationed. It’s readily apparent she takes a lot of joy in her job and wants to spread that joy to everyone she sees during her work shifts.

I often wonder if her goodwill gesture affects the motorists who cross her path. I know the sight of her waves can’t help but make me feel good and just a bit more hopeful. It’s a nice way to start and end the day.

  • I must admit publicly that I am a pack-rat. Now, my obsession hasn’t reached a “Hoarders”-like level, but I do have magazines I created when I was in elementary school and newspaper clippings that go back more than 40 years. On occasions when I look closely at what I have saved, I am extremely grateful I had the awareness to stash them away
    in a box or plastic bag.

I could spend hours looking at this stuff and got caught upin it a couple of weeks ago. While rummaging through
one box I found a letter my grandpap, Michael Mayernik, sent me, postmarked May 14, 1986 in Monessen, Pa. I opened the yellowing envelope and immediately remembered what was inside: a short newspaper clipping titled “Valuable first edition” about a 20-year-old Rutgers University student who created a comic book called “Hamster Vice,” which was a parody of the NBC television series “Miami Vice.”

My grandpap always took me to buy comic books and he must have sent this after buying me that first issue of “Hamster Vice.” I know times change and nothing can stop email and other immediate forms of communication, but I’m happy I grew up during an age of hand-written letters and both a morning and afternoon Pittsburgh newspaper. This envelope is a link to my past I will always treasure.

  • Can I be honest? I was tired of the snow and cold weather long before another storm hit Pittsburgh on March 21. I don’t mind some snowflakes during the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas but when winter weather stretches past the first day of spring, enough is enough. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the thermometer has begun to inch up and the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t started the season tossing snowballs instead of baseballs