Thursday, October 20, 2005

On the street where we live

Published October 20, 2005

Our home sits on a wide corner half way down a curvy hill. Believe it or not, the posted speed limit in our neighborhood is seventeen miles per hour. It’s tricky difficult to drive the posted speed limit. My odometer can never find the magic number seventeen, so I tend to drive on the side of caution and keep it at a cool fifteen when I enter the neighborhood. Other drivers either can’t read, or they must be on their way to a fire. Two times in the last seven years, my son has dodged speeding cars on our hill and has been injured on the bottom corner of our property, now called “Bucky’s Corner”.

Our son, Conor is an energetic and happy kid. We started calling him Bucky when he was a toddler. At that time he had a raspy little voice. He’s a happy kid and the life of the party all the time. When he was five years old we promised him a two-wheel ‘big boy’ bike. He worked hard to earn it and it arrived one day resplendent in all it’s majesty with cool black paint and training wheels. It took about two days before he was riding the bike on two wheels completely balanced. It took two months to convince him he didn’t need the training wheels anymore. For some reason, just like a favorite “blankie”, he wouldn’t let us take the training wheels off as they were extra security in his little mind.

I remember the day well. A car was flying down our hill at speeds well over forty miles per hour. Bucky was on his bike and coming around the corner ahead of it. In order to get away from the speeding car, he took the bottom corner faster than his training wheels would allow and he took a huge spill and broke his leg. I asked him why he was going so fast and he said “to get away from the car”. This accident occurred six years ago and he was in a long leg lime green cast for eight weeks and had a wheel chair for a week or so.

Believe it or not, we are now at the second anniversary of a second accident. Conor was on his skateboard heading toward Bucky’s corner. A car was wailing down the hill about 50 miles per hour. The choice was clear, hit the deck or collide with the car that didn’t have a clue that a ten-year old boy was on his skateboard. A full arm lime green cast was applied after a manual reduction under general anesthesia. The orthopedic practice at Sutter knows my son by both his names and this year he will probably get a Christmas card from them.

Bucky’s corner is a place I will memorialize as the place where my son dodged speeding cars and broke his bones. When you live in a neighborhood where the speed limit is a perplexing, but safe seventeen miles per hour, watch out for children, take it easy and slow down. It’s the most courteous thing one can do on the street where you live.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her at

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