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by Jeff Gross, contributing writer
With the impending
crisis this writer decided to do the unthinkable. I needed a few
essentials to get by the next weeks, so why not endure the storm and see if
indeed the stores were really out of toilet paper? Visions of Cabbage Patch
doll mayhem came to mind.
What actually happened
was a pleasant surprise. Upon leaving my home I bumped into my neighbors,
Carlos and Flo, in the street. The two are ranking members of the Association
and they were discussing how to help the elderly neighbors and assist them in
any way. Wow! Neighbors looking after neighbors – how American!
After getting the
details and adding a name, off I drove. Entering 5 different stores along
the I-195 corridor, people were coming together. Shoppers were polite,
courteous, helpful and above all kind! There was no panic nor
Conversations struck up
with complete strangers and ended with a “it was a pleasure meeting
you”. Jokes were made at the complete lack of toilet paper. This is
a respiratory disease. What is up with the toilet paper? Driving earlier
in the day a large bale of Scotts Toilet Paper was sitting in the right-hand
lane of the Braga Bridge western approach. Oh, the temptation to stop and
grab it! Probably get run over in the process but it apparently is worth more
Each store had all the
items I needed with the exception of TP. Unbelievable. The stores had every
other brand of shampoo and hair gel but mine. In the stores, and especially the
Seekonk BJ’s, the cashiers were humorous and polite. Even the BJ’s store
manager, Matt, rolled up his sleeves to bring down a pallet of laundry
detergent for some patient customers as the store was extremely busy. It took
me more time to find the items than it did to check out.
Stores were prepared
with cashiers this time – not Autobots. I left and headed home. The blizzard of
1978 came to mind. In Boston the Archdiocese canceled all masses. The Archbishop
is concerned for his flock. A lot is getting canceled.
Schools are closed
everywhere for six weeks on average, from what we hear. What a better time to
enjoy your children, and turn them into your students? Teach them to
balance a checkbook, do the laundry, change the oil, cook in the kitchen. The
latter being very important as guys that can cook are a hot commodity even more
than that gold laced toilet paper. Teach about US history. Teach them about the
Constitution. That document is priceless. The 1st amendment is being
exercised this second. Enlighten them about the hardships we as a country
endured and persevered. We will persevere again.
Recently, we came
together in 1978, 9-11 in New York, Washington DC, in a remote field in
Pennsylvania; In Boston in 2013. This time around we have time to prepare.
Every President has
their defining moment. President Trump will have his. I truly believe he
will shine. I am impressed with the analytical approach he is taking. He is
covering all the bases to weather the impending storm. And there is a
storm on the horizon. We will lose some loved ones. We may even get
a “bloody nose”. We will succeed!
In the end when all is said and done we will look back and say, “we got through this”. We put biological, religious and political differences aside and we came together. It is what makes us the USA.
Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, and Woods Hole Laboratories. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Gross says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.
Gross is a Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”.
Gross is a RIFGPA Legislative officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison, FRISC Delegate.
His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.