His doctor must have noticed that this 88-year old is much fitter than most people his age, particularly in the Diabetes Belt of rural South Carolina. But Mr. Irick has relied upon his two wheels for more than 40 years given that he is not licensed to drive his truck and doesn't expect he'd get one as he approaches 89. We didn't get into the why, but enjoyed the sunshine in winter and discussed his independence and wheeled manpower. He'd gone into the Holly Hill Town Hall to pay his sewer and waste collection bill, an encounter with a familiar clerk that was laced with affable but stern protests. A man who rides his bicycle when most his age are relegated to a wheelchair or tomb has earned the right to protest fees that are contrary to his committed frugality and independence. (I'm a correspondent for the Orangeburg (SC) Times and Democrat, covering Eastern Orangeburg County, SC, which is exactly halfway between New York and Miami, but center to southern culture and the so-called "corridor of shame." Contextually, nothing is shameful here, Just the opposite. It's purely beautiful and refreshing, unscathed by an indifferent, disconnected universe.
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