West: Look out for Warren Co. drivers
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By MIKE WEST

All my life, I've always heard "watch out for Warren County drivers." Is there a reason for that? Are they any worse than motorists from, let's say, Murfreesboro or Smithville?

Yes, they are.

Or at least that's the evidence I have compiled from peeking out the front windows of the Cannon Courier.

It's enough to make me wish for the days that Tennessee vehicles had a tag on both ends. In those days, you had a chance of getting out of the way when you spotted a car bearing the 43 designation.

In those days, car tags featured a number based upon the population of the county. Rutherford was 11, Cannon was 80 and Warren was 43. It was no coincidence that NASCAR great Richard Petty carried the number "43" on his race cars.

Is there an explanation for the way Warren County folks drive? A great number of people have wasted many hours of brain power pondering this question.
I always thought it was the distance factor. Warren County, you see, (forgive me for saying this) is in the middle of nowhere.

Folks who live there have to drive a long distance to get to Murfreesboro, Cookeville and especially Nashville.

Sure, McMinnville is close to Woodbury and Smithville, but ... Warren County motorists tend to blow through those two communities like there's no tomorrow. It doesn't matter if they're 18 or 80. Those Warren County folks are going to ride low and fast like a fighter jet.

And what brought this topic to mind?

Trying to cross Main Street for one. Certain times of the day, you cannot cross the street unless a Cannon County car pokes along. Local folks will stop to let you cross, Warren County motorists will try to run you down.

It's crazy.

Secondly, the folks next door to the Courier enjoy waving signs at passing motorists in an attempt to attract shoppers. That makes sense and people seem to enjoy it. Even the big 18-wheelers honk and wave. It's fun unless you are from Warren County. V-v-v-room! There goes another Pioneer!!

And am I speaking from experience?

Yessiree.

There was the time we were heading toward Smyrna on the four-lane. Traffic was heavy and both sides of the road were covered with traffic. BOOM! Bash, crash...

A big car {a Chevy I think} decided to make a third lane on the busy roadway. Yep, they tried to go up the middle of the two busy lanes. The driver seemed surprised at the end result. At least four cars were all smashed up. Ours was mashed on the driver's side from back to front. State troopers soon arrived and started checking drivers licenses. Guess where the little lady that caused the crash was from? Yup, Warren County.

Should I continue?

Hmmmm, maybe I should refer to Rutherford County drivers. Count me among this group.

Well, how can I say this? Rutherford County drivers are clueless. Woodbury, Cannon County? Where's that? Never heard of it...

Maybe I simplify a bit too much? Most, uh many, perhaps some Murfreesboro residents have at least heard of Woodbury and perhaps Cannon County. In fact, a goodly number of them actually had beginnings in Cannon County.

As for Cannon County drivers ... we're a bit slow but otherwise perfect.

It's like the late Rep. Jim Cummings used to say: "Everybody in Cannon County with an eight-grade education and $250 in cash moves to Murfreesboro."
Now Mr. Jim did have his tongue in his cheek, but he did have a point. For example, my late parents (both born and educated in Cannon County) moved to Murfreesboro decades ago. Of course, that didn't keep us from Cannon County. We spent most weekends here at one set of grandparents or another.
But there are plenty of Rutherford County residents who have never heard of Woodbury much less visit here. They travel the opposite direction on state Route 70 to Nashville. Many of them work in Nashville and they go there for shopping and entertainment.

Personally, I'm the opposite. I rarely visit Nashville and when I do it is generally associated with the airport usually either picking someone up or delivering them for a flight.

We went to Nashville the other weekend to meet up with some out-of-state friends and it was like "Golly Gomer .... Shazzam." Buildings were going up everywhere and I could hardly find my way around. Well, actually, the GPS helped us get where we were going, but still the growth is amazing. Maybe terrifying. And where does that leave us?

Yup, in Woodbury....

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