Off the Press

May 8, 2012

By Greg Farrar

Friends care enough to say don’t drink and drive

Greg Farrar Press photographer

You young people who are now high school seniors were newborn babies when I started working here at The Press, so there’s obviously the implication that I’ve taken pictures of a lot of you throughout your 12 years of classroom activities here in the Issaquah School District.

You might remember those times, and in fact your parents might have saved the clippings! You’ve been one of the great pleasures of my job.

In just about a month, you’ll be graduating from Skyline, Issaquah, Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools. I expect to see you at Safeco Field or the Tiger Mountain campus for your commencement. Congratulations to all of you!

The important thing is that you all live long and happy lives afterward, so if you’ll read along for a minute, I’d like to talk about that Liberty High School DUI demonstration that ran in the paper last week.

Please don’t get behind the wheel of a car if you have a couple of drinks at a party. It was your classmates, after all, that love you enough to have put on that program.

It’s your friends at each of your schools that stage this mock car crash scenario every couple of years. They arrived at 5 a.m. for hours of makeup, crawled inside a couple of wrecked clunkers, and when the program started they cried and screamed to make it as realistic as possible.

They really, really don’t want you to get hurt or killed. They really care. That’s pretty special of them.

The thing is, the only way to avoid an accident is to be as responsible as you can be before the fact. When an accident happens, it is instantaneous.

I remember an accident I was in. There was no alcohol involved, but I was rear-ended at a high rate of speed. No one was hurt badly. But what I actually remember most is what I don’t remember. There was no “during.”

One second, it was just like any other time behind the wheel. One nanosecond later, everything had been plucked up… and dropped into another world of chaos.

If paralyzing or head injuries or fatalities result, it’s a world of chaos that goes on forever for the victim and their families.

Your friends doing that demonstration, and the police and firefighters who responded in the DUI simulation, did a great job of expressing that chaos. And I could tell from the faces of many of you students watching that you took it to heart.

Among the Liberty High School student actors whose names I got were Kiana Hafferty, Shane Small, Hiron Redmon, Sierra Hunt, Katie Walsh, Gary Gage, Dalton O’Brien and Alex Batali. I apologize for missing other names. All of you did a superb job. Thank you for the love you have shown your classmates. Thank you to students at the other schools who have done this, too.

The Issaquah Press slideshow is still on our website. If they increase the audience of those of you who will get the message, I will be grateful. Don’t drink and drive.

As I said, I’ve had a lot of fun taking pictures of you from kindergarten to now. I know I didn’t get to every single one of you, but I would have if I could have. For every one of you — live long, live happy and live safe.

Greg Farrar: 392-6434, ext. 235, or   gfarrar@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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