THOMAS R. MARSHALL (1854-1925) served as vice president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. This was during President Woodrow Wilson’s two terms.

A native of Indiana, Marshall was the originator of the famous saying, “What’s this country needs is a good five-cent cigar.” He used these words, following a long debate in the U. S. Senate.

Marshall’s statement might parallel a problem facing many automobile drivers in 2010. His saying might be modernized to say, “What this country needs are more three-hand drivers.”

Have there been times in recent months when you wished the other driver had three hands?

You probably know what Ye OLD Columnist (YOC) has in mind. Yep, you guessed it — some drivers need three hands in order to drive his/her automobile. More specifically the three hands would be used to — 1. steer the auto, 2. hold the cell phone while talking and 3. operate the turn signal. Remember safety and courtesy.

Perhaps the most neglected of the three is the turn signal. The least neglected is the cell phone. Since we don’t have three hands, it’s the turn signal that suffers, and this can cause frustration on the part of drivers in other cars. Perhaps you have recently faced this dilemma in Stephenville or another community.

Some of you in Readerland will recall how turn signals were given before autos were equipped with the steering wheel lever for turning. Prior to the electronic turn signal, one extended his/her left arm straight out the driver’s window to indicate a left turn. A right turn was done with the arm out the driver’s window making an “L.” If you planned to slow down, the arm extended out the driver’s window with the arm dropping to a downward position.

Yep, the lever by the steering wheel is much easier to operate than the old arm signals.

The next time you find yourself short of hands, remember these two words — safety and courtesy. Put the cell phone on the “back burner.” Concentrate on the steering wheel and the turn signal.

YOU MIGHT want to circle Saturday, Oct. 9, on your busy calendar. The tenth annual By-Gone Days on the Bosque will be held on that date at the Stephenville Museum grounds on East Washington Street.

That’s the word from Robin Ritchie, President of the Stephenville Museum Board of Directors.

JUST IN case it may have slipped your mind, today is the last day of August. This August had five Sundays, five Mondays and five Tuesdays. This only happens every 823 years. That’s what the calendar experts tell YOC.

Wednesday begin a new month, and it goes by the name of September.

September has an interesting history. Under the old Roman calendar, it was the seventh month of the year. Its name comes from the Latin word, septem, which means seven. Julius Caesar changed September from the seventh to the ninth month. This occurred when OLD Julius decreed the year would begin January 1 rather than March 1.

’TIL NEXT TIME — “Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. “ — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American poet.