The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

HOW TO GET ATTENTION

I guess that everyone has, at one time or another, gotten themselves into situations that would cause them to want to hide from the rest of the world, for a while at least. Believe me, I have had my share of such experiences. Let me tell you about one such event that took place at about five o'clock on a summer afternoon, in the heart of down town Indianapolis, Indiana.

We had an overhead line crew working on, what would be when completed, the New York Central Railroad Classification Yards, a few miles West of the city. I was on my way down there to make my regular visit to the crew and, in as much as, I would not be able to reach the job site before quitting time and, also because, it had been several years since I had been through the down town section, I thought that I would have another look at it.

Before leaving Three Rivers I had been advised by the crew foreman that he was in need of six 5'-7" crossarms. So rather than have our delivery truck make the 500 mile round trip, I put the car-top carriers on my Company car and thought that I bound the arms, securely to them.

All went well until I was forced to make a sudden stop in the heart of the down-town area. All six of those crossarms sailed off the carriers, over the hood of my car, under the cars in front of me and then right on down the street. As far as I could determine, no damage had been done to my car nor to any of the cars in front of me. In fact, I doubt that anyone except the pedestrians, on the sidewalks, and me, knew that anything unusual had taken place. However, I am sure that all of those pedestrians enjoyed the show that was about to take place, without the assistance of police traffic directions.

The only thing that I could do was to get out of my car, when the light changed, and the cars in front of me had cleared out, was to leave my car right where it was and gather up the arms, one by one and put them back on top of the carriers. Some of them had slid almost into the intersection. I had never realized, before, how many different tones that automobile horns were designed to produce, nor had I ever known what a roar 150 of them could make when blown in unison.

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