THE GRIDLOCKSMITH, traffic safety activist, "Roads Scholar," former "Road Warrior" who lost a brother (aged,15) on the road in 1969, has compiled many observations and ideas about traffic safety after 3 decades of driving for a living. "Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? Set a safe example in traffic." You, too, can be a gridlocksmith. "Road-Peace is a step toward World Peace." - Earl Shoop

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Location: Silver Spring, MARYLAND, United States

Looking for what's logical, efficient, kind and fun... Traffic safety became a personal issue when my youngest brother died on the highway. I observed traffic unsafety while driving for a living(30yrs). Spread the word about "Road-Peace" as a step on the road to World Peace. Since those wise and gentle enough to create World Peace will not treat each other as we now do, in traffic, the road is a good place to focus our efforts. see

Friday, March 26, 2010



Police in Baltimore are shot during a traffic stop by the motorist.

Dump truck and Jag tangle in Virginia and gunfire ensues.

The list goes on and on.

What the devil is going on in the heads of some drivers??

Take a "chill pill"
Before you kill, Bill!
Use your dead head
Before you're dead, Fred!

Spring is here; it's a pleasin' season.
We shouldn't be dying for no good reason.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

R.I.P. Davy Crockett, AKA Fess Parker

Last Thursday, the 18th, saw the passing of Fess Parker at age 85. He is famous for playing the role of Davy Crockett, one of my early heroes.

The sage advice of Davy, "Make sure you're right. Then, go ahead." was advice I always tried to follow. In fact, I tried to go further, and make sure it was perfect, as well as right... which did not serve well, since "perfection" is so illusive. If one can't proceed with something unless it is guaranteed to have perfect results, nothing tends to get done. A pretty good idea might be good enough to proceed with, and adjustments can be made, later. But, if we think an idea to death, we accomplish nothing. Sadly, with me, that has been the case, too many times.

So, now I proceed, in my imperfect style
To offer some thoughts, which I tend to compile.
Now, we should all drive
With the aim to survive;
If we are lucky, we can do so and smile.

The store has a new Department, "Other Cool Stuff," which has designs that are not necessarily related to safety on the road, defeating Road Rage, or promoting "Road Peace."

Here is a sample, from an ongoing series that I call, "Chalkboard Chortles." The design is available on a wide range of items: T-shirts, mugs, cards, and magnets, etc, etc...

Being kind is a good start in our effort to change the world... especially, as we drive.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My heart wants to cry,
"Why, oh why, oh why?"
The officers felt
They needed no belt.
Is that why they die?

Another reminder that Police are not exempt from the laws of physics...
Washington Post, Thursday, March 11, 2010 page B-1 (bottom, left)

"...his cruiser hit some ice and then a pole." This happened in February. In hospital, it appeared that he might recover. Then... "he died Tuesday night."

It saddens me beyond words, each time I see another story about another cop who would have survived... (sob!) Police are charged with the duty of enforcing seat belt laws for the rest of us. When will they crack down on themselves?

My heart wants to cry,
"Why, oh why, oh why?"
The officers felt
They needed no belt.
That is why they die.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010


I think there were a couple weeks left to apply when I heard about "The Purpose Prize." It is set up by the same folks who promote "Encore Careers." It is for folks over 60, who have found a new purpose for which to work. Use the link to learn more.

Assuming that I needed to write an essay on the mission of gridlocksmith, a lot of time was wasted, I fear. It would have been better to simply click on "Nominate Now," so I could verify exactly what was required to submit my candidacy. Lesson learned.

They asked very specific questions, which I found helpful in my quest to briefly and succinctly share what I hope to accomplish, and the concept of "Road Peace." Below, are some of my responses, taken from their thoughtful email that acknowledged the nomination and provided a copy of the questions and answers. I am impressed by their thoughtfulness, kindness and clarity. Even if I win no prize, the experience has been helpful.

Specific focus: Traffic safety and attitude adjustment through the concept of "Road Peace"

THE BIG IDEA--In 250-500 words, tell us the nominee's story. What's inspiring about it? What big social problem is the person tackling and how specifically is he or she going about it? What, concretely, does the work entail? Why is this innovative or entrepreneurial?

I want to encourage everyone to be part of the effort to improve traffic safety. (and, by extension, all kinds of safety, in and out of "workplace")
The question, "Can you imagine world peace while we are at war with each other on the road?" brings substance to the saying, "Think globally, act locally."
The concept of working for world peace by creating local, road peace, gives us each something relatively small to do (treating others with kindness, on the road) to begin changing the big picture.
We have lost more lives on our highways in any one of the last twenty years, than our military has lost overseas, in all of the last twenty years! Where is the media coverage? By establishing "Road Peace" as a step toward "World Peace," I think the media can be persuaded to give the issue higher priority. People who want peace will understand that modification of our road behavior holds many lessons that can be applied world wide.
It has been theorized that drivers become angry because they feel powerless. I believe that, just as social mores are more powerful than the rule of law (as regulators of behavior), we have great power when we stubbornly persist in setting good examples.
Attempting to address two needs at the same time, I have opened an online store (www.Zazzle,com/gidlocksmith*) to make available bumper stickers and other items that carry positive messages about traffic safety. As more items find their way into public view, income will be generated to help pay some bills.

THE BEGINNING--In what year and at what stage in the person's career did the work or idea for which he or she is being nominated begin? What was the person doing immediately prior to starting this work? (Maximum length: 75 words)

The concept of "Road Peace" as a step toward "World Peace" was born during the last months of 30 years of driving for a living. My last employment (which ended in July, 2009) involved transporting patients to and from medical or therapy appointments. The death of a brother on the highway, in 1969, caused me to have thoughts about doing something regarding traffic safety, but had no solid idea of what I might attempt.

IMPACT--Concretely, what impact has this work had on the community, the region, and the world? What have been the outcomes of the work in the past few years? (Maximum length: 150 words)

It is far beyond my abilities to measure the impact of any safety effort, nor could I attribute that impact to any particular campaign.
I do feel certain, however, that those who take up the challenge to set a safe example in traffic will benefit through less stress and danger. I feel that the motivation to do something good is a big factor in traffic law compliance.

THE FUTURE--What specifically does the nominee plan for the next five years? Describe the specific role the nominee will take in these plans. (Maximum length: 100 words)

I am beginning to make contact with a number of traffic safety organizations, and am offering to volunteer my time to assist (and learn from) them. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one group that I am already building a relationship with; I plan to participate in an event in Baltimore on May 8. Toastmasters meetings have helped me feel that I may soon be able to address large groups. My designing and writing poems will also continue.

There is an outfit called "RoadPeace" that you may learn more about, here. They appear to be good folks, with some good ideas.

The gridlocksmith store has different departments... one is just for bumper stickers...

Create a personalized gift at Zazzle.

Would you care to see some key chains?

Shop other personalized gifts from Zazzle.

Until next time, be safe and kind to each other.

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