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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Whiles Away Her Summer Waiting for the Phone to Ring

DEAR ABBY: Last fall, a horrible car accident claimed the life of a young local man. A roadside memorial of wreaths and memorabilia was erected. Since then, no one has tended the site, and the elements have take their toll on it. The offerings look like litter now. Would it be appropriate to remove the battered items? Or would a respectful cleanup of the site be in poor taste? -- PASSERBY IN MAINE

DEAR PASSERBY: Roadside memorials are usually placed there by the family or friends of the deceased, who also tend to them. They are sometimes removed by street cleaning or highway maintenance crews when they have reached the stage you have described. A report made to the city or state department that's in charge of maintaining the road would be better than attempting to do the job on your own, and also safer.