Riding with Joe Miller

In my post of January 16, 2013, I wrote about Joe Miller’s Jests — the famous compilation of 247 numbered jokes published in 1739 by John Mottley.  Well, there’s another “Joe Miller” that played a role in my life. 

Fifty plus years ago, when I worked at Camp Napowan (the Boy Scout Camp in Wild Rose, WI), the chap who owned some of the property was Joe Miller (no relation to the joke book persona). Joe had an ancient olive drab pick up truck that (Scout’s Honor) had no doors. Floor stick shift. And of course there were no seat belts and no handle above the door to grab. His favorite line – while cruising, weaving and wobbling on the back roads of Wild Rose – was “If there’s no one coming around that bend, we’ll see the sun rise tomorrow.” I swear if we were driving with Joe, we’d grab under the glove compartment and hang on for dear life.

Today, there’d be a lot of “tsk tsking.”  There’d be an article in the New York Times.  There’d be an “inquiry.”  Joe would be criticized.  Maybe tossed in the clink.  Unsafe vehicle.  Endangerment.  Et cetera.   The usual assortment of plaintiff’s lawyers would sue anyone and everyone to scam a buck.   

You should know — I would definitely not want – or allow – my child or grandchild to be one of Joe’s passengers.  But looking back on it — I’m privately glad that I rode with Joe . . . . .

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