Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Axle Static Strip

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Axle Static Strip


HOW DOES NASHVILLE manage to do things like this? I got asked that very question once years ago by an elected official from another county who was attending an event in our city park. I won’t tell you who it was because he said ‘off the record’ that his hometown couldn’t pull off such an event with such aplomb.

I told him it was just the spirit of the volunteers because classy events didn’t just happen.

Two of those events, in fact, didn’t just happen recently. I’m referring to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet and the Howard Memorial Hospital Foundation Gala.

Both events were very well attended and both of them held up our community and its citizens and institutions for recognition.

A lot of people deserve a lot of praise for making things happen.


IN ALL HONESTY, I cannot tell you how this image got between my ears. For some reason this past weekend I remembered how gasoline tanker trucks used to have a strap of some kind dangling from their rear axle. It bounced along dragging the pavement.

My sense was that the strap was leather, and maybe it was meant to keep the truck from developing static electricity. Don’t know why I thought the strap was leather. I never crawled under a tanker truck to get a close look.

I asked Mike Reese since he used to be behind the counter in an auto parts store. Yes, he remembers the straps. No, he didn’t sell them. Mike said he thinks the straps were homemade, possibly some nylon-type material. He agrees with me that the purpose would have been safe discharge of static electricity, or preventing its buildup.

Jarrod Hendry, out at Hendry Oil Co., sometimes drives those trucks to make fuel deliveries. None of his trucks have that strap around the axle, and they’ve never had a problem with static electricity. When I asked him about this he looked at me like I was a babbling idiot. I could tell he was thinking about calling the cops.

I’m seriously considering that the strap was a home remedy for a problem that didn’t exist. Precaution was good, however.

The straps weren’t only on gasoline tankers, either. They were on all kinds of trucks, including pickups. Mike Reese says that it was only prudent to have a strap on your pickup because just about everyone in Arkansas drives around with a can of gasoline in the back of their truck for their lawnmower or chainsaw or ski-doo or 4-wheeler or for when you are out of gas and far from help. You get the picture.

I made the mistake of asking Jim Carlton at Carlton Tire if he remembered axle straps. He said that there was no collusion between the axle and the roadway. I got laughed out of his waiting room.

Since I unfortunately let this thought creep into my mind, I have been unable to resist looking at truck axles to see if there is a strap. Nary a one in sight for the last four days.

If you know what I’m talking about please email louie@nashvilleleader.com.

So it is entirely possible that I am now a distracted driver. I find myself paying more attention to truck axles and less to proper operation of my cell phone and buggy at the same time.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to drive safely yet follow closely enough to inspect truck axles? Do you know hard it is to signal a right hand turn, text someone and answer a telemarketer all at the same time?


GONE, NEVER FORGOTTEN. Some of  you may remember a really good sportswriter, photographer and newsman, Terry Hawkins, who worked with Jane and me at the ‘Nashville News’ for a year or so back in the late 1980s.

In his time here he came to be a big Scrapper fan, and that stayed with him after he left. When we’d meet at Arkansas Press Association conventions, he would always ask about the Scrappers..

He left Nashville to go back to his true home, Dumas, where he was editor, reporter, and general manager of the  ‘Dumas Clarion’ for many years, winning tons of awards for his outstanding work.

He was fully immersed in the well-being of Dumas and was even named a ‘Ding Dong Daddy’ in that town’s fairly famous festival.

Terry died Sunday, Feb. 24, at age 66. Memorial service Wednesday at the Methodist Church there.


ANIMAL CRACKERS. I really, really hate to tell you this. Sunday afternoon, I noticed a tornado of gnats circling over my patio, just waiting for me to come outside.

And who put the silent g in front of gnats, anyway?

Did I tell you I hate gnats? I greally, greally ghate gnats! Especially the ones that gcircle and gcircle and try to get into my gnose and ears.

I wish a tsunami upon gnats and whoever invented tsilent tletters.

5 6 5 5 6 5

THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “Which letter is silent in the word “scent,” the S or the C?”

See what I mean? The silent letter people cannot be gtrusted.


WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: News and Views. Journalists strive to keep them apart.


HE SAID: “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” famed photographer Ansel Adams


SHE SAID: “While you’re going through this process of trying to find the satisfaction in your work, pretend you feel satisfied. Tell yourself you had a good day. Walk through the corridors with a smile rather than a scowl. Your positive energy will radiate. If you act like you’re having fun, you’ll find you are having fun.” Jean Chatzky, financial editor



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