[Mailman-Users] Word Wrap

Adrean Clark cs at clercscar.com
Mon Aug 17 19:25:28 CEST 2009

I'm still having trouble with word wrap.  I send out messages in plain
text, and I don't have the message editor enabled.  I've pasted a sample
message below.  Also notice in the first sentence of the article a > sign
was added.  It's not in the original -- where did that come from?  Thanks
for all your help.


From:    "Clerc Scar" <clercscar at clercscar.com>

17 August 2009

Need to smile or laugh?
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Need something to thank interpreters?
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Need a logo, illustration or graphic work for your business?
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All done by a deaf artist/cartoonist--Matt Daigle

Melanie Bond
Words: 2,441

Chapter 18
Amnicon Falls State Park

>From Little Girls Point, we headed west on U.S. Highway 2 and entered
northern Wisconsin. After two hours of driving, we passed a road sign
pointing toward Amnicon Falls State Park. On the spur of the moment, we
decided to stop and stretch our legs a bit. What a surprise it turned out
to be when we spotted not just one big waterfall but also many smaller
cascading falls! We all hurried down the steep rocky steps to stand close
to the Upper Falls and felt its misty spray and thunderous roar. It was
fascinating to watch the Amnicon River tumble downstream over many flat
layers of rock. With the sun hanging low in the sky, piercing flashes of
sunlight danced across the rippling waters like diamonds. The Amnicon
River descends 640 feet from its headwaters to Great Lake Superior. In the
past, as these rushing waters tumbled over rocky ledges, they broke off
more than 190 feet of rock exposing the Douglas Fault which is considered
to be a geologic wonder.

It had been the Ojibway Indians who had named the Amnicon River. It means
"where the fish spawn." The tannic acid-colored waters support the only
native muskie population in this region, as well as several species of
trout, salmon, walleye, and migrating steelhead.

Soon Dano pointed his finger downstream and cried out, "Mom, look the
other way! Can you see that bridge? I want to go on it! Can we?"

I turned to look and sure enough, it was there. But it wasn't just "a
bridge"--it was a 55-foot wood-covered foot bridge that spanned the Lower
Falls. What a quaint picture it was! We hurried over to the bridge and
crossed it, not realizing that we were crossing over to a little island.
This island was completely surrounded by cascading waterfalls. It was
amazing! Here, there were beautiful contrasting white birch trees and
aromatic evergreen trees. A nature trail circled around the perimeter of
this island. The three of us had fun hiking through the woods close to the
rocky cliff edges of this island.

When Dano started running up some rocks precariously close to the drop-off
ledges, Harvey shouted, "Dano, stop! You're too close to the edge! If you
had taken a fall into the rapids below, that'd be the end of you! Stay
close to us so that we can keep an eye on you!"

We all had to be careful when we rounded the steepest part of the island.
Here the trail was treacherously close to the edges. Feeling a little
winded, I spotted a nice sun-baked flat rock and suggested, "How about we
take a break and sit down for a few minutes so that I can catch my breath
and admire the views around here?"

We all plopped down on sun-warmed rocks, watched the cascading waters and
listened to its thundering rock music which seemed to soothe our souls.
Soon it was time to get moving again. We crossed back over the covered
bridge but took time to stop on the bridge and admire the views from both
sides. Looking upstream at the rocks above the Upper Falls, there was
black basalt rock over a billion years old. Looking downstream were red
sandstone believed to be 3,000 feet deep. Dano enjoyed the contrasting
color lines of black basalt rock and red sandstone and was able to collect
a tiny rock sample of each to take home with him.

Dano observed, "Mom, this is just like the black and pink sands that
wouldn't mix at Indian Lake!"

"That's right!" I exclaimed. "Isn't that interesting! What do you suppose
is the difference between these rocks and the sand at Indian Lake?"

He responded in his didactic manner, "Erosion."

That's my boy! As twilight began to fall, Harvey and I debated whether to
camp overnight in this state park. Both Dano and I were in favor of
staying here. But Harvey thought otherwise.

He stated, "I think it's best to continue driving to make up for lost time."

"What lost time?" I inquired. "Who's keeping track of time here? It's not
like we have to keep a schedule! Besides, we've had a full day already and
we're tired. So, why can't we just stay here?"

Harvey repeated himself, "I'm sorry, Mel, but I feel that we need to put
some miles on the road."

"But, Harvey!" I retorted. "I don't like driving at night! I can't see
anything! Besides, you have a hard time staying awake sometimes!"

Dano chimed in, "Dad, I agree with Mom! I want to stay here!"

Harvey had already made his mind up. It was no use trying to talk him out
of it. He was quite determined to put in some distance between Amnicon
Falls and God-knows-where-else-we-might-end-up!

If we had known then that our planned four-week trip would stretch into 12
glorious weeks, he might have reconsidered the matter. But not just now. I
thought to myself, What's one more day in the grand scheme of life?

Chapter 19
Missed Bridge Exit

Harvey was determined to leave Amnicon Falls State Park so that he could
put more miles on the road this evening. It was a short drive to the
Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge connecting the twin port cities of
Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. Richard I. Bong was the Ace of
aces--the number one fighter pilot who flew on missions over Japan during
World War II. On this evening, we would bing-bong this bridge not once,
but twice!

The first time we crossed the Bong Bridge, we were too busy admiring the
views and not paying enough attention to road signs. It was natural to
want to look out at the beautiful St. Louis River to our left and at the
bay of Great Lake Superior to our right. What a spectacular view we caught
of the huge glowing red-orange sun rapidly sinking below the horizon on
the bay. The sun's last golden hues flashed, illuminating the white
topsails of an entire fleet of sailboats sailing on the bay. The view was
so captivating, so mesmerizing, and so peaceful that we completely missed
our exit. We never expected the exit ramp to descend below the bridge and
over the river rather than at the end of the bridge and on land.

When we reached the bottom of the bridge at Duluth, we found ourselves in
a dark and dreary ghetto-like downtown area. It appeared slummy and scary
at night. We couldn't seem to find any signs that would lead us back to
the highway that we needed to be on. Every twist and turn we took
dead-ended or went nowhere. We were stymied as to how we could find our
way out of this labyrinth. Where were the straight and narrow highways
when you needed one?

I pleaded with Harvey, "We're not getting anywhere, all we're doing is
going around in circles! Please stop and ask someone for directions!"

Harvey replied, "Mel, we'll find our way out soon, okay? Try not to panic
because I need to be able to concentrate on my driving."

But after a few more unsuccessful attempts to extricate ourselves from
this darkened city, I begged him one more time. "Harvey, please, just go
ask someone for directions! It'll save us time and all this running

Harvey responded, "All right, as soon as I can find a store or a gas
station, I'll go in and ask someone for directions."

He found a convenience store and as he jumped out of the van, I shouted
after him, "Don't forget to write the directions down!"

But, of course, he didn't write them down! He's like most men who are
often reluctant to ask for directions. Perhaps that takes all the fun out
of their hunting instinct! He soon returned to the van.

I asked, "Did you write the directions down?"

He responded, "Well, no! I didn't have a paper or a pen! It's complicated!
I can't remember everything the guy told me. Look, it's stressful driving
around in unfamiliar cities at night. I can't even read the street signs
unless I stop the car and get out! Do me a favor, try not to panic because
it only makes our situation worse. If you stress me out, I won't be able
to drive! I need you to be calm. We'll figure our way out of here, okay?"

"Okay!" I replied. "I won't say another word! I'll just close my eyes!"

And he did get us out, in a roundabout way. He caught sight of a road sign
for U.S. Highway 2 and took us back over the Bond Bridge--oops, the Bong
Bridge--to Superior, Wisconsin, even though it was facing the wrong
direction. But he had fully intended to do this so that we could retrace
our steps and figure out where we had gone wrong. He turned our van and
camper around and bing-bonged back across the bridge to Duluth, Minnesota.

He stated emphatically, "Now let's pay attention to the road signs here on
the bridge and watch for our exit sign, okay?"

Together, we watched for it carefully and there it was, our exit sign,
hanging down from the top of the bridge ironworks! And what a ride our
exit ramp turned out to be, as it looped down and around and under the
bridge, totally bypassing downtown Duluth. Thank God, we were now on our

Chapter 20
The Darkest Night

Our jubilation upon leaving Duluth, Minnesota, didn't last long. For the
next treacherous 50 miles, we encountered concrete barriers, orange and
white construction barrels, orange cones and dark, unmarked rain-slicked
roads. A downpour made highway traveling extremely hazardous. I was
frightened and angry about the foolishness of driving through what turned
out to be the darkest night in Minnesota. Continuous road detours, dark
mounds of dirt piled high and roads which suddenly dropped off 3-5 inches
onto gravel roads startled and frightened us. There wasn't a single soul
in sight, not even the faintest hint of light from anywhere as the rain
continued to obscure our visibility. I felt as if we had been sucked into
a black hole along with the lights which emanated from our headlights. It
seemed as if any trace of light was swallowed up by the darkness. I was
terrified and started to panic.

Harvey stopped the car in the middle of the road to warn me, "Stop
panicking! I can't concentrate on where I'm going when you're like this! I
need you to be quiet because this is a dangerous area! I can't even see
the road five feet in front of me!"

That was exactly my point! Why were we driving?

I quieted down and said a quick prayer for our safety. Harvey drove at an
interminably slow, cautious speed. We came to a spot where he wasn't quite
sure if the dirt road here had just ended with no clearly defined detour
route to follow.

He stopped the van once again in the middle of the road and advised, "Lock
the van and don't open it up for anyone unless it's me!"

He then got out of the van to scout out the area in soaking rain until he
could figure out how the poorly marked road detour was set up. I started
worrying about all the "what ifs" anything should happen to him while he
was exposed to the elements. There was nothing I could do to help him if
he ran into any trouble. Much to my relief, he rapped on the window and I
quickly unlocked the door for him. I was glad to see him!

Dripping wet, he said, "I can't believe there aren't better road signs out
here to help guide us through this quagmire! But from what I can tell, I
think the road continues about a block or so, then turns right. Hopefully,
that'll take us back to the main highway."

And he was right. As soon as we had cleared the road construction zone,
relief poured through us. The crisis was over. At this time, we were all
hungry and tired. There was no restaurant or fast food stand for miles and
miles. This was not good! At about five minutes before 10:00 p.m., we came
to a 4-corner junction in the middle of nowhere. Harvey detected a faint
glow of light beyond the four corners. To our surprise we saw a burger
joint called Troy's. What a beautiful sight it was for sore eyes and
hungry bellies! It appeared as if the place was starting to close up for
the night.

But being as desperate as we were for some sustenance, Harvey told me,
"Mel, I've got to run in and make sure they're still opened up for
business. We can't take a chance on getting locked out!"

I watched Harvey as he quickly hurried over to the doors, found them
unlocked and went inside. That was a good sign!

He asked the servers at the counter, "Are you guys still open for
business? We haven't eaten for a long while. Perhaps we could get food to

Both servers replied, "No, no! You don't have to rush off! We'll stay open
for another half-an-hour so that you and your family can come in and sit
down, make yourselves comfortable and enjoy your meals!"

"Well, thank you!" Harvey replied. "I really appreciate that!"

He came back out to the van and told us the good news. We all hustled
inside and placed our food order. I was so grateful for the servers who
were willing to extend their hospitality an extra half hour for us. We
enjoyed our burgers, fries, onion rings, and malteds. What a glorious
grease joint it was! I imagined this joint standing in the middle of
endless corn fields though I didn't have the visual clues to tell me what
was REALLY out there!

Much to our regret, we missed out on the opportunity to visit and explore
Minnesota's many natural wonders. On this darkest of nights, Harvey drove
almost clear across the state of Minnesota. At around 11:30 p.m. with just
a few miles left to go before entering North Dakota, we finally pulled off
at a rest area and slept for a few hours in our van. It turned out to be a
chilly night and without a blanket to cover my bare legs and feet, I slept
rather fitfully trying to stay warm. In the morning, my aching knees were
rather annoyed with me!

[To be continued next week.]

Melanie Bond is the moderator of several key discussion lists in the
deaf-blind community.

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Copyright 2009 by Clerc Scar. All rights reserved.

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