30 Years Service Ends In Tragedy
by Bill Stephens, Metro News Photojournalist | Updated Sunday, 14 January 2017 at 4:30 AM CT
Today I was assaulted. Just 3 months short of turning thirty I was struck and killed. Attacked by what I have faced many times before, a snow plow.
So on December 29, 2017 at 17:23:51 following the warning of flashing yellow lights and what sounded like a freight train traveling rapidly down the street.
I was struck! Not by the plow itself, but by the side of the dump bed that holds the salt. You see, the driver was “curbing” the snow and had his tires up against the curb not taking into account that the dump bed extends at least six inches over the tires.
When that plow blade passed me I took a deep breath, as I thought I had survived this pass only to be wiped out by the side of the truck.
The impact was like being hit with a George Foreman right hook or having my neck twisted and snapped by a Navy Seal neutralizing the enemy.
My owner ran out to see if I could be saved, but no luck. My feet were twisted off at ground level and my face was torn off and thrown 50 feet. Yes, there had been a mail delivery and the mail was scattered over the ground being quickly covered by the falling snow.
The plow and driver returned to the scene of the crime and assured my owner that I would be repaired as soon as possible.
Three days later, I was taken to a warm warehouse to “rest” for the winter until the cold ground thawed and I could be properly repaired.
Meanwhile, they called in a “temp” to stand in my place. I’ll call him ACE, at least that is what it says on the bucket his feet are in. He must be a cousin on uncle Vinnie’s side from Jersey if his feet are already in concrete.
And I can only imagine where he will go after this assignment. Maybe some long term under water work?
Editorial Update: We are happy to report that the mailbox of 30 years is now back in service with a new post courtesy of the City of McHenry, Illinois Department of Streets & Sanitation.
Video Footage Courtesy: © 2017 Bill Stephens/Metro News Photojournalist& Mailbox Owner
Believe: Helping Noah Webster Define A Huge Emotional Word
by Bill Stephens, Metropolitan Sentinel Columnist
Updated Fri., 29 Dec. 2017 at 5AM (Morning Edition)
This has always been the season to have hope and to believe. Webster defines to believe is to accept something as true.
I would like to think that this time of year has brought out the kid in all of us; with the hope and belief that anything is possible. Anyone can be Santa Claus to us - our friends, family members, neighbors or even simply a stranger passing us on the street.
As the year comes to a close, we imagine new dreams and wishes for the New Year. As we say goodbye to 2017, we reflect upon the events that have shaped the year and remember those who we have lost.
I believe when the clock strikes midnight - as you embrace that special man or woman placing that last kiss of the old year and first kiss of the new year - as 2017 closes and 2018 begins, hope is born for the next 365 days.
I believe that a better world is possible and will be just around the corner if only the people that we placed in power believe and have the guts to really do what is right for the good of us all.
I believe in faith and charity. Each of us should practice this every day. Have faith in your creator as well as yourself. If we do not believe in ourselves first, we can’t ever have faith and trust in anyone else.
While charity begins within – it should be shared. GIVE, Give till it hurts. You will feel better for it. Oh and giving doesn’t have to be money. It can be of yourself, your time and talent which is every bit as valuable and can be just as gratifying. Help one person each day. Then hopefully, they in turn will help someone. Soon, everyone will have enough to believe.
I believe in laughter. The ability to laugh is good for the soul. It can lift your spirit – especially if you have had a bad day. Watch a funny movie, listen to a comedian or talk to that funny friend or relative that always has a good joke to tell.
I believe in love. Yes, you are hearing that from someone that has been single and unattached for more than ten years. Belief is where there is always a chance that just around the corner you will come across that special someone that will make the coming year soooo much better.
Watch a sappy movie, love story or just turn to the Hallmark Channel. There is no shortage of happy endings on that network. Sit in front of the fireplace, feel the warmth and watch the flames dance. As you hear the crackling sound, it's almost as if the fire speaks to you.
So, enjoy yourself as the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops in New York City, the confetti flies and the hundreds of thousands spectators pack into Times Square yelling at the top of their lungs.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Bring on the Hope and just BELIEVE! Do this every day and we will all be better for it.
What do you believe in? I’d like to hear from you. Please e-mail me at the link below.