Once upon a time many years ago the Rotary Club agreed to clean two miles of Highway 29.  It was actually closer to Seward Junction and Nelson Barrett’s home than it was to Georgetown.  The demands of the Highway Department were few:  we only had to do it about twice a year, we all had to wear reflective vests furnished by the Department, we had to open a warning sign on both ends of our segment and pile the full orange sacks in a mound behind the eastern sign.  The Club only had about 90 members in those days, and perhaps half could do the bending and stooping required to pick up trash, but we had an ace up our sleeve.  Judge Bill Lott could call the alcohol detox center on College Ave and get 10-15 healthy young men who needed to do public service hours.  However we had to assign two people who could pretend to be picking up trash but would actually always position themselves between the good Judge and the traffic.  I honestly think the cars sped up when they saw the warning signs; maybe they were out to get Judge Lott.   There was no center lane in those days—just two lanes in each direction.

      I had a yellow Toyota pickup truck that looked almost like a Highway Dept. truck from the 60’s [only much smaller] and had made some signs with stakes [I still have them somewhere in the attic—just in case] that I placed every 2/10 of a mile according to the Toyota odometer.   So all I had to do was drive up and down the two miles picking up full orange sacks of trash and passing out empties.  Judi Shanklin and Sharon McCarty, attired like something out of Elle magazine, dutifully appeared every year.   One year I lost Judi and feared for the worst but she reappeared from behind a long guard rail out of a deep culvert.   These road cleaning efforts seem to have died out before the Highway Department ran out of money.  I don’t know why it has passed but we collected mountains of trash and we had no fatalities.  Our worst casualty was a few cases of poison ivy.

Howard Burt