(During my short-lived campaign to be a U.S. Representative, I got such great response from voters I talked to about my plan to #LockTheClock. I also got a bunch of nice notes from fans around the country, including this one, below. I’m finally cleaning out my inbox and re-read this note, and wrote to Bill. He said I could run it as a blog post. Great stuff! And thanks, Bill. With your support, we can get this done!!! -Scott)
I am totally with you on your crusade to Lock the Clock. Hopefully you won’t mind if I share a little trivia and a war story with you.
I have (almost) always lived in East Tennessee. In Tennessee, the current boundary between Eastern Time and Central Time follows the edge of the Cumberland Plateau from Kentucky to the Alabama / Georgia line. Unlike the sign you depicted in Kentucky, this is a remote area and a logical place for a time zone boundary. But it wasn’t always so. My mother (born in 1925) told me when she was a girl, East Tennessee was in the Central Time Zone. I did a bit of research a few years ago and found the below corroborating map:
If I recall correctly from the accompanying text, the architects of the time zone boundaries wanted them to connect known communities so it would be easy to remember where the boundaries were. (I guess folks didn’t really care if their neighbors across the street were in a different time zone. Nobody watched the 6 o’clock news because there was no 6 o’clock news.)
So the above is one piece of trivia (actually maybe not so trivial). Here’s another: if time zone boundaries were perfectly logical (which to me would mean the boundaries of GMT would be at 7.5 degrees east longitude and 7.5 degrees west longitude, and all other boundaries would be 15 longitude degrees from these lines), the boundary between Eastern Time and Central Time would pass through the town in which I live, just over a mile east of my home. It would pass directly through the garden center at the nearby Lowe’s:
(I couldn’t get Google Earth to show the 82.5 degree line and also the label “82.5” but you can do the math from the two adjacent lines on the snip.)
I tell people about this from time to time; they usually just politely feign interest. (I guess there are more important things, but not many more important things to a time person.) My take away from this trivia is that East Tennessee should be in the Central Time Zone, in spite of the obvious disadvantages of not having the time zone boundary in a relative wilderness. (Clocks in Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee, separated from each other by the aptly named “State Street,” would be an hour apart.)
OK, now my war story… I was on a business trip to Spain. I was blissfully ignorant of the impending time change from CET to Summer Time as I strolled the streets of Barcelona with my business traveling companion on a Saturday evening. We stopped at several tapas bars and eventually ate supper at a restaurant which offered raw oysters. I ordered 6, employing my very rudimentary level of Spanish. Then, back to the hotel, where I discovered, sitting bolt upright in my bed at the realization, that being at the airport well before my first flight of the day to Atlanta would mean being even an hour earlier, thanks to the onset of good old “daylight saving” time at 2am tomorrow. This would have been bad enough, but of course the flight was late and by the time I was seated on the aircraft, in the last row in the middle seat of the middle section of a 767 (I am not embellishing this for dramatic effect!), I had developed food poisoning (from the oysters or tapas items or both). It was the most miserable flight ever, exacerbated by the earlier than normal airport arrival requirement and lack of sleep brooding about it!
OK, thanks for listening, and thanks for being our point person for eliminating the totally useless and archaic practice of changing clocks twice a year.