Line One
Silver Fox
Stay-at-home spouse?
Here’s a little peace of mind

By Pete Rigney


Just the other day, a distant neighbor and a trucker told me about his latest gadget for peace of mind while on the road and away from his wife. He described a gray gizmo, quarter-inch thick, 1-inch wide and

1½-inches long. He said it hangs on a lanyard.

At first I had to smile. Having known this tough guy for a bunch of years, I would have figured he would have shown me a .35-caliber Magnum or a pair of Rottweilers.

“It gives me peace of mind when I’m on the road. It belongs to Kitty.” I knew his wife, Kitty, had a stroke awhile back, but I knew little or nothing about her recovery. Like her husband, we don’t get back home too often to check messages.

I learned that the little unit my trucker friend had shown me was designed to be worn around the neck or the wrist. There are several similar companies out there offering such gadgets, but this particular one was called Life Alert.

The little unit packs a pretty good punch during an emergency. It’s pre-loaded with all kinds of useful information: a doctor’s phone number; the trucker’s dispatcher; a nearest relative; one or more neighbors; the rescue squad; the police and fire departments; a clergy member; and finally, the hospital of choice.

When a crisis happens, all Kitty has to do is push the button on the gizmo. Within 15 to 30 seconds a loud voice will ask about the problem and find the first choice on the list of people or organizations to call. Kitty can be on the floor with a broken leg, but in a matter of minutes help will be on its way.

My buddy told me it costs around $50 per month, and that it’s a bargain for both the driver on the road and his stay-at-home wife. The sending unit will only work within 100 to 150 feet of the receiving unit, though, so I would imagine the best place to hook up the receiving unit is in a central area.

When I started out on the road, I had all kinds of gadgets, but nothing like these bits of technology. Drivers knew one another and there was camaraderie second to none that usually helped us through difficult times.

Can we turn things around to where we know each other and help one another again? I don’t know. I believe there are more knights of the road out there. You’ll know them when you see them. Maybe you’re one of them.

Give it some thought between point A and point B. Meanwhile, all the best to you and yours, from the Silver Fox.

Pete Rigney may be reached at