two thousand twenty
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By John Addyman

   The woman in front of me was looking at all the people lined up at the two cash registers. She turned around and looked past me to the people waiting behind us.
   It was Tuesday afternoon about 4:30, and the Dollar General in Newark was doing a brisk business.
   The woman in front of me knew why.
   “It’s going to snow,” she said to the cashier and me. “We’ve had snow before. Why are all these people in a panic?”
   She had a point.
   “Because we’ve been told to panic,” I said to her. 

   “I think Wegman’s is behind this,” she suggested. “You should have seen all the people in there this afternoon. You’d think it was the end of the world or something.”
   We talked a little bit about all the TV stations and radio stations blasting warnings about the coming storm, network and local TV in particular. You couldn’t watch any channel early Tuesday morning without seeing some reference to the “massive, crippling storm” coming at us, or the “monster storm” being trumpeted by “dire predictions.”
   Hey, we live in Wayne County. We know what it’s like to get hit with snow when most of the rest of the country is on the beach sitting next to a frozen daiquiri. People in Texas and Alabama and Oklahoma are getting their chance to enjoy what we’ve been enjoying – in spades – since before Thanksgiving.
   I was thinking about the guys who plow the snow this morning when I was shoveling my driveway – for the 30th time this winter. I was thinking about Arcadia Highway Superintendent Dave Harder in particular, and his crew.
   Dave’s been at the snow-plowing game for so many years, and he has such a professional approach to his job, I see him in my mind preparing for the BIG SNOW days ahead of time, making sure all his trucks are ready, loading up with salt, and scheduling his lads.
   I wonder if he has a talk with the guys before they go out and plow, kind of like the air squadron commander on an aircraft carrier…
   “Now guys, we know we’re going to be busy through the night and well into Wednesday evening,” he’d say. “We know we’re going to run into people who have no business being out in the storm and get stuck and we have to help them or drive around them. We know there are people counting on us to get to work tomorrow. Maybe the schools will want to have classes despite the weather…it’s all up to us.”
   And maybe they have a little huddle and hold their gloves high in the air and yell “Plow!!!” right before they go to their trucks.
   I figure the guys probably have special food and drink with them, too. Coffee and soda for sure, and maybe sandwiches and pepperoni sticks and candy bars, stuff like that. Things to keep you awake in the dead of night when visibility is at a premium.  I have so much respect for guys who do the plowing, here in Newark and Arcadia. They do a great job – and I’ve seen other villages and towns throughout the county do the same.
   The television folks, for sure, are making us feel like the end of the days is arriving with this snowstorm. The local stations all used the storm as their lead story this morning, and the weather forecasters themselves could have done a little better job of toning it down – but didn’t.
   My wife and I lived in southeastern Pennsylvania for years and we learned, after some time, to watch Herb Clarke on Channel 10 in Philadelphia. He was the guy who would use the secret phrase that sent us to the store for milk and bread. As soon as he’d say, “We could get five to nine inches of snow,” I was out the door.
   What Herb really meant when he was talking about 5-9 inches – and what he never really said – was, “We’re going to get buried: prepare for the worst.”
   Our local Rochester TV guys do the same thing, and we all know it.
   As soon as we hear one of the TV meteorologists say, “I could give you some snowfall totals, but that would not be prudent at this time,” what he (or she) is really saying is, “I have no idea how much flippin’ snow we’re going to get but it’s going to be a lot.”
   Instead of just telling us, “Well, we’re going to see a foot, maybe a foot and a half of snow, and maybe a rumble of thunder,” they do this “would not be prudent” thing.
   And then we panic.
   Hey, we’re from Wayne County. Give it to us straight…so we don’t all wake up Thursday morning with too much bread and milk…
   Take care on Wednesday. Drive safely, watch the heavy lifting with the shovels, and consider that somewhere, sometime…we will see what our grass looks like again.


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2 Comments to "OUT OF MY HEAD for FEB 2 11"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Cannot stand not having your picture on first page huh? Oh well to each their own.

    Posted on Thu Feb 03, 03:21:00 PM EST

  2. John Addyman Said,

    That's a fair comment...this is a personal column: should my picture be on it? I know posting the picture was a risk -- I figured that some people would see that picture and run away from their computer screens, screaming...

    Posted on Fri Feb 04, 10:50:00 AM EST


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