A weekend in Oklahoma City, including the drive there and back, reconfirmed my distaste for toll roads and renewed my puzzlement over why some Missourians say they favor that approach to road funding over higher fuel taxes paid at the pump.

Keeping in mind, of course, that many people saying they favor such doesn’t mean they would actually vote for it if that were on the ballot instead of yet another gas tax proposal they would vote against over and over again.

Meanwhile, our roads and bridges do continue to succumb to the forces of inflation, time, travel and nature.

I did notice a lot of gas price postings there of $2.23 (rounded up), but those were for the ethanol e85 blends, which are supposed to translate to being about the same cost when mileage is factored in. The regular unleaded price at my one stop for fuel there was about what I left behind in Bolivar and returned to late Sunday — $2.52. Prices between here and there were varied, with one pump in Springfield showing $2.48.

• • •

As for other state business, I hope others do pay more attention to reading their driver’s license renewal cards than I did. My new license clearly says it is not a REAL ID card, meaning that after October of next year I will need to produce a passport or a birth certificate to board an airplane, should I ever want to do that again.

All of the information about my two options was right there on the renewal card, had I chosen to read it. But I didn’t. Getting the REAL ID would have required me to have one additional proof of address, my Social Security Card (instead of reciting the number from memory) and my birth certificate or passport for six or more years of easier boarding of a plane.

Still feeling a need to blame someone else, I’ll blame our legislature for not just chinning the bar and conforming to the federal REAL ID years ago instead of thumbing its collective nose at so-called federal overreach. Now we conform, but it requires an unnecessary choice and actually having to read the renewal card, or be as embarrassed as I am now. (Please don’t tell anyone about this.)

On top of that, the camera at the license bureau still makes me look every bit as old as the license says I am. Can’t they do something about that instead?

• • •

And in closing, I am sorry to have missed the delayed military rites service for great friend Gerald Stephens at Greenwood Cemetery yesterday. His ashes were buried months after his death, at age 99, and years after Helen’s.

It also didn’t seem right not seeing and hearing him sing in the community choir at the Celebration of Freedom last week, just as I suspect attendees of his church must feel each Sunday when not seeing and hearing him in that choir.

In sharp contrast, I’m comfortable knowing that I’ll perhaps be best remembered for not singing in any choirs. 

Dave Berry is the former BH-FP editor and publisher and now carries the fancy has-been label of “emeritus.” Please direct any complaints or other direct communication with him to dberry08@gmail.com. As always, the people who actually work here deserve to not be bothered by any of his weekly and weakly distractions or disruptions.

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