Trompler Foundation Archives

[The following article was written with the intention of submission to The OnionHowever, The Onion doesn't take submissions, so it appears here.]

Adopted Highway Reunited With Parents On Ricki Lake

POULSBO, WA--A four-mile stretch of Washington State Route 307 was reunited with its parents yesterday on Ricki Lake, fifteen years after it was placed in protective custody.

In a previously videotaped segment of the daytime talk show, host Lake and guests former Washington State Deputy Secretary of Transportation Henry Needham and retired Department of Transportation foreman John Lindstrom flew to Seattle, and then drove to the Kitsap Peninsula to visit the highway they designed, funded, and constructed in 1967.  Neither Needham nor Lindstrom had been previously made aware of the subject of the show, and both expressed surprise and heartfelt joy when they stepped out of their car and cried upon the shoulder of their procreation, known locally as Bond Road NE.

The care of SR 307 had been the responsibility of the Washington State Department of Transportation from the time of its surveying until January 16, 1983, when Superior Court Judge Norma Fields ordered that the highway be removed from the state's custody and placed in foster care.  In 1980, state budget shortfalls had necessitated the cutting off of funds for the highway's maintenance, resulting in potholes and other structural damage from heavy timber truck traffic.  Additionally, the highway became the scene of illegal trash dumping and numerous incidents of teenage delinquency.  After hearing several petitions for intervention, Judge Fields permitted the adoption of the highway by the local Kiwanis club.

President Michael Brinson of Kiwanis Club of Peninsula-Gig Harbor, who made the decision to adopt SR 307, was also a guest on yesterday's Ricki Lake.  "It was an extremely touching moment when John knelt down to kiss the road he worked so hard on," said Brinson.  "Bond Road has never suffered from a lack of affection and attention from us, but there's nothing like the love of one's true parents."

Kiwanis Club of Peninsula-Gig Harbor wasn't the only party who petitioned for custody of SR 307 in 1983; Linda Hanson, Chairperson of the Kitsap County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, wanted to dedicate Bond Road to the memory of her late son, Pierce, killed on the highway by a drunk driver in December 1981.  "I held Bond Road partially responsible for Pierce's death then, and I still do," said Hanson.  "As guardian, M.A.D.D. would have ensured that the highway would have been rehabilitated for the crimes it committed while in the state's care.  To be frank, the Kiwanis Club has been very lax in its upbringing; I haven't seen them out picking up litter in years.  Now that Bond Road has been returned to the DoT, I fear for everyone who travels upon it."

Needham was very enthusiastic for his highway's future prospects.  "With the recent passage of Referendum 49, funding for SR 307 has been restored," he told a cheering Ricki Lake audience.  My people in [state capital] Olympia tell me that we're due for a total resurfacing, as well as new sodium-vapor lamps every quarter-mile.  This highway is going on to big things, I tell you.  I couldn't be more proud," he beamed.

Copyright © 1998 by Eric Scharf.  All rights reserved.