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Slow down for Oklahoma's school zones

An Oklahoma City school crossing guard made a point, year after year, of calling in to pass along this reminder.
By Don Gammill Modified: August 9, 2010 at 6:51 am •  Published: August 9, 2010
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/articleid/3483608/1/pictures/1082098">Photo - Workers from Traffic Signals. Inc. remove old signs after new signs were erected at various  school   zone locations around Oklahoma City. Sign at left will be removed when electrical connection is removed. Newer sign that hangs above the street is in background. This location is at NW 18 and Classen. Photo by Jim Beckel, The  Oklahoman
Workers from Traffic Signals. Inc. remove old signs after new signs were erected at various school zone locations around Oklahoma City. Sign at left will be removed when electrical connection is removed. Newer sign that hangs above the street is in background. This location is at NW 18 and Classen. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

John said, on many occasions, he had fallen back to a curb, pulling a child to him, when drivers did not obey school zone signs. He said he often didn't even have time to get a tag number.

He said he did pass along a word or two, however, to those who came close to hitting a child at his crossing.

He talked to the children, particularly the youngest, who came to his crossing, teaching them to wait patiently for him to give them the OK to proceed.

He told me it made his day when they thanked him and told him they would see him again the next day.

Then, he asked that I remind the motoring public to watch out for the children. I promised I would.

He never gave me his last name. I never got his phone number. He never wrote me. This was the way he wanted it. He just told me to expect the call and the chat again next year.

He did so for about the next five years. Then, the calls stopped. It was much later that I heard from a school official that a certain crossing guard had passed away.

I still miss his calls. But neither he nor his message is forgotten. It's still loud and clear, for all of us: "School's startin' again, so ... watch out for the kids."

By the way ...

Here's a special "thank you" in advance to all those who help our children through the school crossings.

John would be proud of you.

Enjoy your week and drive safely.


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