Tuesday, March 05, 2013

What is it about the fear of Snow? And in Chicagoland?

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When we talk about snow storms I remember the Blizzard of 1967. Then there was one in 1978-79, which rocked Chicago's Political Machine of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. In truth, we have had a number of big snow storms slam Chicagoland. What happens in Chicago happens in the suburbs.
But these days every time a snow flake appears, people collapse in a tizzy. Schools close even before the snow starts, like this morning at 5:45 when my son's local school district did a robo-call to tell us his elementary school was being closed. It wasn't even snowing yet. It didn't start to flutter some snow flakes until about 9:30 am. And I wouldn't even call that a snow storm.
Somehow, we have changed. Say the word snow and we go berserk. 
I was surprised and happy that the Village of Orland Park had already sent the salt trucks out to slat the streets by 6 am when I went to the health club. I could here the tires of my car crunch the large chunks of salt that were spread all over the streets by the village public works trucks long before the first snow flakes even fell.
Was it a waste of salt, maybe?
Maybe we need a reality check. A snow storm is a hassle, not an inconvenience. Did we have to close schools? School is only two blocks away and we drive him to and from school. When I was a kid -- the proverbial complaint of "old people" -- I had to walk to school rain, sleet or snow like the mailman. We could have six inches of snow and we would put on our boots, pull on our head coverings and scarves and trudge the more than one mile to get to school. No one drove me anywhere. We walk to school in the morning. We walked home for lunch. We walked back to school after lunch. We walked home from school when it ended.
We walked whether it was hot or cold. It didn't matter if there was a blizzard or a rain shower.
This was Chicago. Snow was a part of the landscape. We expected it in the Winter. In fact, looking back of the past few years, the snow storms have been few and far between. We have been pretty luck, Very little snow. Once in a while, it bunched up but it was far from an inconveniece.
Maybe we're getting soft.
-- Ray Hanania

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