The Gauntlet

Whenever I hear those words I think of 3 things..

v1.bTsxMTM3MjY4MjtqOzE3NDExOzEyMDA7MTUzNjsyMDQ4#1 The 1977 movie staring Clint Eastwood and Sandra Locke. IMDB describes the movie as, “A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won’t make it into town alive.” Like most men, I have always been a fan of Clint Eastwood and his style of brash, no nonsense bravado in all his films.

 

 

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#2 To me he epitomizes the stereotypical hard assed, blood and guts male that many a young boy of my era aspired to be, if only in our dreams. Unfortunately I for one could not attain the level of machismo needed to shelter me from all the bullies of my youth. Suffered I did through school and more, all the while dreaming of a time when I would be the one in control. I feel that time has come to pass in my life, and I relish it.

#3 The section of I95 that runs along coastal New Jersey north through New York City and into Connecticut. Ask any truck driver in the northeast and he will agree, this section of highway is “The Gauntlet.” Many drivers from the Midwest refuse to drive here because of the traffic and the vast confusion of roads. Many times I have been intimidated by the mad rush of those familiar with the area, dissuaded and confused with the many interchanges to be negotiated to arrive at a said delivery. This is not for the faint of heart in a car never mind a truck 70 feet long!

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Crossing George Washington Bridge Into New York City

In my years of driving I think this one area has helped me to overcome more than just a fear of getting lost or other such misgivings. I think by driving under this pressure I have found an inner strength and calmness in the face of adversity that will help guide me as I go forward into my chosen future, as I face uncertainty in unprotected waters. I don’t “Rattle” easy and stay calm even in the worst situations, a blessing to help make better decisions in the face of fear.

One learns many things in simple, daily experiences if you are willing to pay attention and see the lessons in life. Never should you feel content in all things lest you fall before the hard reality that you are never in complete control of your life. Never do you amass such a wealth of knowledge that nothing more can be added. The day you think that is the day you fail completely.

 

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7 thoughts on “The Gauntlet

  1. Your final paragraph is a pearl of wisdom that so many would do well to pop into their back pocket. It is unarguable in my opinion and anyone who disagrees must surely be the fool. I sat next to Clint Eastwood at dinner once a very long time ago. A humble and delightful man with such presence as to knock the breath from your body, he asked the gauche 20 something year old me to sit at his right hand because I was the one who had done all the work for him when he was in London to receive the Freedom of the City. My boss’s wife, a diva and a half, spat her dummy half across town but my boss, to his credit, told her to hold her tongue and asked the question what right did she think she had to usurp me when it was me who was the worker and she the hanger on. Wise men both.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been fortunate to spend quite a bit of time with celebrities over the years and they are just like the rest of us …. some are odious and to be avoided, some are OK to spend a little time with and a very few (including Mr Eastwood) are real gems that one would be happy to be with anytime. I am flattered that you think I am successful … I tend to think of myself as a big fat failure. Wisdom is a gift that you have in spades and I too look forward to that first meeting. It will come!

        Liked by 1 person

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