It used to be a March mantra around
here, especially if we'd been lucky enough to have a couple of
sunny, 75-80 degree days as winter wound down.
"Don't get too used to this
weather! Remember what happened in 93!"
What happened in 1993, of course, was
the blizzard to end all blizzards, a genuine storm of the century, at
least for this area.
That storm made mental marks on a LOT
of people in this area. Despite the fact nothing like it had happened
before in March, or since, people almost seemed to expect Old Man
Winter to lay the hammer down on us a few days before every spring,
especially if we'd had a nice run of weather.
The truth of the matter is that was the
last real snow we've had around here. Sure, we've had the world
whited out in the past 20 years, but nothing that stopped us from
being back on the road the next day, or even later that same day.
Road crews have gotten very good at clearing out our pathways.
The "remember what happened in 93" mantra has receded a little in the past few years, but it got so bad
at one point I thought a law stating you could smack somebody for
saying it without fear of reprisal was a good idea.
What do you remember about the blizzard
of 93? All I really remember is driving to the Little Caesar's in
Kmart and buying a couple of pizzas that we proceeded to eat on that
That was a Friday night and it was
snowing pretty heavy and everything was turning white, but it seems
like most of us weren't taking it too seriously. Way too many "snow
forecasts" that either left little more than a dusting or
disappointed us when we got up in the morning and opened the
I really don't remember what they
were forecasting that night as the storm moved in, but I've asked
others who were there and the consensus seems to be they nailed it.
Well, maybe they didn't call for 18-inch drifts, but they were
calling for a pretty big storm.
Beyond that I don't recall much of
it. I assume we just sat around the house and hoped the power didn't
go off. It didn't for us, but I'm sure it did for a lot of
It was Tuesday before we were able to
get back out, and even then it was treacherous going. I don't know
how road crews would respond to such a storm nowadays, but I doubt
four days after the fact the roads would still be that bad.
I was a couple of months away from
moving into the news department then and my two jobs were working the
darkroom and helping out in the mailroom. Yes, I have been a jack of
all trades when it comes to the newspaper business.
When I finally got back to the
Sweetwater office I was immediately assaulted by roll after roll of
awarding winning film from reporters and anybody else who made their
way into the darkroom to swipe rolls of film.
I kid about the award winning part.
This was way before the days of smart cameras that set everything
perfectly and people were over exposing bright white snow pictures
left and right. I couldn't say anything because, well, I didn't
have all the years I do now. I'm pretty sure I took some blame for
developing the film "wrong." Now I'd just give them a look and
they'd know to run.
I may be wrong about this, but it seems
like it was Thursday, maybe Friday, before the roads were completely
cleared and life returned to normal. If you had ordered up a storm
that southerners just couldn't handle, you couldn't have asked
And we were made to feel even worse
with the knowledge that in places like New England and Minnesota and
probably all of Canada, they don't even blink at 18-inch drifts.
But we had a lasting memory and every
March 13, just a week before spring, we bring it up. Now, 20 years
later, it probably won't even be mentioned.
I'm kidding. We're doing a whole
thing on it in the March 13 edition. Be sure to buy three copies.
email@example.com | 442-4575