Dolgov was riding through a wooded area one night when the car suddenly slowed to a crawl. “I was thinking, What the hell? It must be a bug,” he told me. “Then we noticed the deer walking along the shoulder.” The car, unlike its riders, could see in the dark.
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When you were doing your Milk Route you never drove your horse. The horse knew the route, all the stops, turns and turn-arounds and did them all without assistance. When the route was finished, she put her head down and headed for the stable, and woe-betide anything that tried to interfere with that! One day after finishing our route, down by “The Tannery Houses”, Queen was taking us back while I did my book work. I heard some men hollering in a foreign language behind us. After a bit when I got a chance I snuck my head out the door and looked back… in horror! We were coming around that long curved grade well past the Motor Park, nearing the Silver Bridge. What I saw when I looked back was a freshly laid asphalt road (on our side) with a barrier across our side. The horse merely went around the barrier (that thing shouldn’t have been across our road when I’m going to the stable and that guy yelling in Italian waving that flag, what was his problem?) Every place where one of her big feet came down, a big round chunk of asphalt came flying up. I quickly got her on the left side of the road and kept going, after all we were both heading for the stables!
On another ‘returning to the stables’ incident, I decided to stop and make a collection at our Pentecostal minister’s residence, on that Salvation Army Hill (going up this time). I had trouble getting away from the chatty pastor’s wife, and when I returned to the street the horse and wagon were gone! I went back into the house and phoned the dairy to report the missing rig. Ken was laughing when I told him, because the horse and wagon had just arrived at the unloading dock… without a driver! Queen had gone up the hill, made a right turn at the top, then made a left across two lanes (remember Highway 11) and continued to the Dairy. I wonder what the drivers she cut off thought!
...by the late 1800s, the problem of horse pollution had reached unprecedented heights. The growth in the horse population was outstripping even the rapid rise in the number of human city dwellers. American cities were drowning in horse manure as well as other unpleasant byproducts of the era’s predominant mode of transportation: urine, flies, congestion, carcasses, and traffic accidents. Widespread cruelty to horses was a form of environmental degradation as well.
The situation seemed dire. In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. One New York prognosticator of the 1890s concluded that by 1930 the horse droppings would rise to Manhattan’s third-story windows. A public health and sanitation crisis of almost unimaginable dimensions loomed.
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