Although summer vacation has been in full swing for a whole week, the weather has been so uncooperative that Peabody youngsters have not really been out and about as they usually are right after school is dismissed.
It is time for me to issue my annual rant about watching out for children on bikes as you drive, because I have no faith in them watching out for you.
In addition, I will say again that it is up to parents to teach their children the rules of the road. Bicycle riders must obey stop and yield signs. They must stay on their own side of the street. They should not weave back and forth from curb to centerline and back again. You get the idea.
We have been lucky not to have had any bad accidents involving children on bicycles in Peabody for many years. Let’s keep that track record another summer. Dad and mom, have a conversation with your children about bicycle rules and safety. Peabody drivers, be on the lookout for children who are not looking out for you.
Thank you to Peabody Dreamers for getting another volunteer group together to work on cleaning up Peabody. They made it to the end of the 500 block of North Walnut Saturday morning—and those were some leaf-clogged and mud-laden gutters. I expect it was not the most fun any of them have ever had, but they did a terrific job and I appreciate the effort in my block.
Remember, the cleanup group works on Saturday morning during the third weekend of every month. If you can give one morning or even an hour or two on the designated Saturday, they can use your help. It is a great project that helps a good number of people. Volunteers are encouraged to meet at 9 a.m. at Santa Fe Park on the scheduled Saturday and the work ends at noon.
Here is an additional thought about this task. The group is gamely planning to hit every street in Peabody between now and October, I believe. The work can be arduous and certainly needs many volunteers. However, an equally helpful effort would be for residents to rake the debris along the street in front of their houses up into small piles that can easily be collected by the volunteers. That effort would help them move right along.
Then, guess what? For the rest of the mowing season, our lawn mowers all should be turned away from the street rather than toward the street. If we do not shoot all those grass clippings into the street gutters, they will not be washed into the storm drains in summer or sit in the gutters coagulating with fall leaves during the winter. That formula makes for a much better looking community, pegs you as a responsible Peabody resident, and helps volunteers on cleanup crews.
In addition, you will not be fined $100 for blowing the clippings into the street. Yes, it is true, if you are caught blowing that stuff into the street, the city has an ordinance in place to fine you. It is easy to avoid a fine like that. Just do the right thing.
I have one final thought. This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend. The American Legion Avenue of Flags at Prairie Lawn Cemetery will be shown in its full glory from Friday night until Monday night. This is another event that requires many hours of labor. The result is a stellar and moving tribute to Peabody veterans buried there. Again, if you have an hour or two or an evening to help, please contact Fred Saenz, Larry Watts, or Scott Weber and offer your assistance.
Drive to Prairie Lawn one evening during the weekend to see it. There are similar displays in communities across the state, but this — in my opinion — is one of the best and one of the best-known. Thank you to members of Peabody American Legion Post 95, American Legion Auxiliary, and Sons of the Legionnaires. Most of all, thank you, veterans.