Monday, December 21, 2009

The Real McCoy

WHEN THE ROAD APPEARED TOO RUGGED and, from behind my desk, I simply needed escape, I gazed longingly at the picture of the delta ferry called “the Real McCoy” taped to the side of a cold, steel file cabinet. Highway 220, outside of Ryde. Some guy got paid to pilot this thing back and forth across a placid Sacramento River. Back and forth. Back and forth. Day after blissful, carefree day.

Every patron who boarded needed to cross – every patron who disembarked did so satisfied.

Not so with public school district administration. After a GOOD day, I could count on one hand the number of patrons who didn’t leave dissatisfied; or the number of kids who actually benefited from my employ.

SO WHILE CROSSING on the McCoy one time last spring, I asked the pilot: “What about this job could possibly bug you?”

“Bikers,” he responded, then clarified after eying my BMW: “Bikers who get drunked up over ta Al the Wops (in nearby Locke) and then wanna ride across. Oncet, this guy drove his Harley right off the end, then dove in after it.” He paused, scratched his chin and spat over the side. “Bikers.”

I returned to my federally sanctioned categorical ‘No Child Left Behind’ funding application thinking about green grass and where it might truly be found. My vote still rides with to the pilot of the Real McCoy.

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