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Old 06-20-2005, 07:13 AM   #1
Auburn Annie
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Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,112
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The wreck of the Blue Ribbon trash truck
Monday, June 20, 2005
JEFF KRAMER
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
Next to learning belatedly that your spouse is a cross-dresser, the greatest fear of modern life is the fear of getting hit by a runaway garbage truck. People rarely talk about it, and when they do their fears tend to be couched in bravado and humor. But the threat is real. Garbage trucks kill. We nearly had a tragic reminder of that last week, but instead Central New York has a new hero.

The gripping story of how John Renfer risked his life to bring his out-of-control garbage truck to a halt in downtown Chittenango after the brakes failed got me thinking about a tribute to commemorate the event for the ages. I opted to compose a ballad, which I performed a cappella last Thursday at a singer/songwriter talent search at Bella Luna, an East Syracuse bar.

Modeled after Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," the ballad is titled "The Wreck of the Blue Ribbon Transportation Truck."


Please join me in song:

The legend lives on in ol' Chittenango town
Of a trash truck headed straight for disaster. The brakes, it is said, had gone totally dead And the trash truck sped faster and faster.

With a load of refuse not far from Syracuse
On a steep curvy slope they said "Uh-oh."
The two-member crew faced a most pungent doom
As did any poor souls they'd run into.

The truck on most days surely warranted praise From the people of ol' Chittenango.
It picked up their crud with a rattle and thud Cans, scraps, parts from an ol' Dodge Durango.

But who can predict the mayhem you'll inflict
At 55 miles per hour.
Down Route 173 careening on Genesee
People desperately running for cover.

John Renfer, 36, found himself in deep - -
As he fought with the wheel of the monster.
For the rest of our sakes a decision he'd make All but assuring that he'd be a goner.

The garbage he'd haul into a solid brick wall Saving lives, he would go out a hero.
They pulled bricks off his shirt, he wasn't seriously hurt
Nor anyone else in downtown Chittenango.

Perhaps one fine day there'll be John Renfer Way As a sign of the town's 'preciation
Of a man of great courage who didn't bale or purge
Driving for Blue Ribbon Sanitation.


It's unclear whether my performance will be strong enough to win the competition, which continues the next five Thursday evenings at Bella Luna. It should help my chances that Deane Vella-Bovi, event organizer, has said I can be a celebrity judge in the finals.

But whether I win or lose, I hope everyone will make it a point of switching off their reality-TV shows and DVD players and supporting CNY's many talented musicians, whether at Bella Luna or elsewhere. There's a whole world of experience outside your living room. Just watch out for the garbage trucks.

Jeff Kramer's humor column runs every Monday and Friday in CNY . Reach him at features@syracuse.com.
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:13 AM   #2
Auburn Annie
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,112
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The wreck of the Blue Ribbon trash truck
Monday, June 20, 2005
JEFF KRAMER
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
Next to learning belatedly that your spouse is a cross-dresser, the greatest fear of modern life is the fear of getting hit by a runaway garbage truck. People rarely talk about it, and when they do their fears tend to be couched in bravado and humor. But the threat is real. Garbage trucks kill. We nearly had a tragic reminder of that last week, but instead Central New York has a new hero.

The gripping story of how John Renfer risked his life to bring his out-of-control garbage truck to a halt in downtown Chittenango after the brakes failed got me thinking about a tribute to commemorate the event for the ages. I opted to compose a ballad, which I performed a cappella last Thursday at a singer/songwriter talent search at Bella Luna, an East Syracuse bar.

Modeled after Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," the ballad is titled "The Wreck of the Blue Ribbon Transportation Truck."


Please join me in song:

The legend lives on in ol' Chittenango town
Of a trash truck headed straight for disaster. The brakes, it is said, had gone totally dead And the trash truck sped faster and faster.

With a load of refuse not far from Syracuse
On a steep curvy slope they said "Uh-oh."
The two-member crew faced a most pungent doom
As did any poor souls they'd run into.

The truck on most days surely warranted praise From the people of ol' Chittenango.
It picked up their crud with a rattle and thud Cans, scraps, parts from an ol' Dodge Durango.

But who can predict the mayhem you'll inflict
At 55 miles per hour.
Down Route 173 careening on Genesee
People desperately running for cover.

John Renfer, 36, found himself in deep - -
As he fought with the wheel of the monster.
For the rest of our sakes a decision he'd make All but assuring that he'd be a goner.

The garbage he'd haul into a solid brick wall Saving lives, he would go out a hero.
They pulled bricks off his shirt, he wasn't seriously hurt
Nor anyone else in downtown Chittenango.

Perhaps one fine day there'll be John Renfer Way As a sign of the town's 'preciation
Of a man of great courage who didn't bale or purge
Driving for Blue Ribbon Sanitation.


It's unclear whether my performance will be strong enough to win the competition, which continues the next five Thursday evenings at Bella Luna. It should help my chances that Deane Vella-Bovi, event organizer, has said I can be a celebrity judge in the finals.

But whether I win or lose, I hope everyone will make it a point of switching off their reality-TV shows and DVD players and supporting CNY's many talented musicians, whether at Bella Luna or elsewhere. There's a whole world of experience outside your living room. Just watch out for the garbage trucks.

Jeff Kramer's humor column runs every Monday and Friday in CNY . Reach him at features@syracuse.com.
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:38 AM   #3
charlene
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too funny!
lol
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:38 AM   #4
charlene
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too funny!
lol
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Old 06-20-2005, 04:37 PM   #5
Borderstone
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Location: Phoenix,Arizona -America
Posts: 4,431
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Uh....interesting. No,bad intention here,just opinion but I've read funnier re-makes.
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