The weather was 56 degrees F and partly sunny, which was cool enough for me to don my lightweight winter cycling clothing.
As I recall, I’ve cycled to my local polling place every single time I’ve voted since I and my family first came to live in Ferguson, Mo., in November, 1980, after I got a new job setting up a lab. for McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co., St. Louis, for a laser space communications program.
It’s actually not very far, as the crow flies, and my son used to walk there through our subdivision, which has steps leading up to the playing field behind the school, when he was an elementary student there.
However, today I didn’t take that direct route. First I cycled to the Whistle Stop Old Fashioned Frozen Custard shop. It’s housed in the former Ferguson Train Depot, now also a museum.
The town was named after Mr. William B. Ferguson who in the 1850s deeded land to the railroad provided they build a train depot on it and make it a regular stop, and was rewarded by having the town named after him.
During weekdays they offer a daily three course lunch special for only $7.58, including tax. Today’s special was corn chowder soup (or salad), ham & cheddar tomato roll, and ice cream and that’s what I ordered, taking the opportunity to drop off newspaper for recycling along the way.
On my return via the scenic route up Elizabeth Avenue I stopped off at my local polling station at Lee-Hamilton Elementary School, wheeling my bike inside as I do every time I vote (except in 2008, when the building was too crammed with people voting during the presidential election).
In the polling station the gentleman handling the paper ballots turned out to be from the Midlands in England, having come to the U.S. with his family when he was 9 years old, so he had no vestige of an English accent. He was trying to guess where I came from after hearing my British accent but didn’t get close: it’s a south coast accent from Bournemouth in Hampshire, a popular seaside town and retirement community akin to those in Florida in the U.S.
I asked some voters exiting ahead of me after I’d voted if they’d take my photo and a gentleman kindly did so. The result is at the top of this blog.