A real tear-jerker
It was her lifelong dream come true.
Carole Gergely, the daughter of a 35-year Goodyear employee, was chosen to take a special flight on the tire company's Ohio-based ``Spirit of Goodyear'' blimp. It soared some 1,000 feet in the air over New York City, giving her a chance to see the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Plaza.
The airship ride was voted by viewers of NBC-TV's ``Today'' show as one of the 50 things to do to make your life complete and was part of the program's month-long ``Live for Today'' series.
Before her flight, Ms. Gergely, a Tallmadge, Ohio, resident, said when she sees the blimp fly over, ``I've been known to stop the car and watch it and cry. I don't know why. It's just a beautiful sight to me.'' ``Weekend Today'' co-host Lester Holt asked her not to cry during the flight and she promised she wouldn't, though Ms. Gergely did shed a few joyful tears near the trip's end, according to Goodyear.
As for the experience, ``It was everything I thought it would be and then some,'' she said. ``It's so nice because it's really slow, and you can really see everything and everybody-very relaxing.''
We think the Akron tire maker also should provide Ms. Gergely with a life-long supply of tissues.
This & that
Just wondering-Do Pit Bull brand tires, marketed by Pit Bull Tire Co. in St. Louis, require muzzles and special permits in some states?
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Not so smart-The driver of a Smart Fortwo ultra-mini two-seat vehicle had a terrifying ride of his life recently.
Tooling down a busy German autobahn at just under 60 mph, he got rear-ended by a large truck whose driver didn't realize the tiny city car had become plastered to his front radiator grill. After two miles of shunting the Smart down the highway, the trucker was finally stopped by police.
He told the German press he ``couldn't believe it when I got out of the truck and saw there was a car stuck on the front of it.'' He said he had felt a slight bump but thought he'd only driven over a stone in the road.
The Smart-and lucky-driver was shocked but unhurt.
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Quotes du jour-``The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher,'' said biologist and writer Thomas Henry Huxley.
Raconteur/deadpan actor/comedian Ben Stein noted, ``The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.''
Following up on that thought, Mark Twain advised, ``Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.''
Call for Perry Mason
While every so often our ramblings touch upon the legal landscape-and its seeming absurdity at times-Marketplace ran across an intriguing multi-million-dollar lawsuit that bears watching.
Ford Motor Co. was the defendant in a recent case involving two teenage women in Texas celebrating their high school graduation when they were killed after their Ford Explorer had a rollover accident. A Texas court awarded the plaintiffs $28 million based on the claim, among other things, that Ford could have installed window glass that might have prevented the deaths and injuries.
Without getting into all the specifics as outlined by the Associated Press and Detroit News, suffice it to say the auto maker said it plans to appeal the award on the grounds that the jury was tainted. A judge, however, said the car maker didn't prove its right to a fair trial was compromised.
What do you think? Here are a few points Ford will likely broach in its appeal:
* It claims the jury foreperson, a female city manager, was romantically involved with the plaintiffs' lawyer.
* Two jury members signed, then later retracted, affidavits alleging pressure by the foreperson to make a large damage award.
* The city manager reportedly helped the plaintiffs' lawyer sign on three victims as clients to the lawsuit before she was appointed to the jury.
* And though her sons are first cousins to one of the deceased victims, the city manager and her niece were still appointed to the jury.
Appeal? On what grounds? We're going to go out on a limb...hang our legal briefs out to dry, so to speak, to predict this one is worth reviewing. Ya think?
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk