Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

In 2006, Bertie County native Carroll Daniels published What Kind of Truck Does He Drive?, a collection of stories from his childhood (copies available through the Albemarle Regional Library system).

Having known Caroll as my children’s math teacher at Hertford County High School and his wife, Joan, as a poet, I was especially interested in the book.

One of my favorite stories is not in but about the book. Carroll’s sister was reading some of his accounts that involved her, and she informed him she did not remember them the same as he had. Since he is the one who got them in print, his version is the one that will last.

We all have those situations in which our mind shapes a memory into what we wanted something to be, not necessarily what it was. But we also simply have those situations in which different persons have different memories. It is all a matter of perspective. It’s a matter of who’s driving that truck?

College instructors generally undergo regular evaluation by students. I recall one administrator’s telling me he early on learned not even to look at the evaluations. Whereas I fully understood his point, for one reason or another, I always did look at them, and I generally had to wonder if the students were sitting in the same classroom.

What one student criticized, another praised; what one student found missing, another found present, and another found it present too much. Ultimately, such evaluations become useless; unless one can consider the perspective, what can one take from them? It all depends on who’s driving that truck.

I have found the same to be true in this day of cyber shopping. If one reads enough reviews of products, one usually finds them contradictory. If I really want to buy the item, I generally ignore the reviews entirely, but I do find them amusing at times, again wondering if these people have received the same product, just as I used to wonder if students were receiving the same instruction. It all depends on who’s driving that truck.

And so it is with the current vaccine rollout.

Have you talked to people who have gotten one or both shots? Have you read Letters to the Editor in newspapers regarding the experience? The same questions apply about those trying to get the vaccine, especially those unable to do so.

Some have found the experience noteworthy by its efficiency and some just the opposite, whether attempting to get the shot or actually getting it. Perhaps these people differ from the instruction evaluators and product reviewers in that they are not having the same experience. Getting the vaccine in Wake County may not be the same as it is in Bertie County. It may not just depend on who’s driving that truck but where it’s being driven.

For anyone I know who has received the vaccine through the Albemarle Regional Health Services, the experience has been positive. Mine certainly was. Yes, it was time consuming, but I thought of it as an investment. Spending three hours to affect the rest of my life - how many ever hours that may be - seemed like a good return to me.

I know people who have spent more time and people who have spent less; the extremes I have heard (locally) are more than seven hours and fewer than twenty minutes - somewhat miraculous with an observation time of fifteen minutes needed, but again, it depends on who’s driving that truck, where it’s being driven, and when it’s being driven. The time somewhat depends on timing.

It would seem it has been a good time to live far from the maddin’ crowd, that our being in a rural area, being a part of the Albemarle Regional Health Services has been to our advantage. Kudos and thanks to them and all the others working with them to vaccinate us. The sooner the more of us are vaccinated, the safer we will all be.

Sarah Davis is a retired librarian for the Sallie Harrell Jenkins Public Library in Aulander. She can be reached via email at sarahwdavis22@gmail.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.