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Column: Southern hospitality evident in snowed-out city
by Brian T. Clark
February 05, 2014 03:59 PM | 6036 views | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian T. Clark is managing editor of Neighbor Newspapers and a sixth-generation Georgian. He and his wife, Heather, live in Woodstock.
Brian T. Clark is managing editor of Neighbor Newspapers and a sixth-generation Georgian. He and his wife, Heather, live in Woodstock.
If I never see another snowflake again, it will be too soon.

After last week’s little fiasco turned my 30-minute commute into a nine-hour stalemate, I have formally pledged my non-allegiance to snow days, snowmen and snow angels.

Like most residents of our sprawling metropolis, I did not heed the warnings or even pay much mind to the weather reports. Atlanta meteorologists are notorious for threatening snow flurries at least seven times a year once the mercury dips below 40 degrees. After a while, most of us just see it as crying “wolf.”

Please understand, I’m not knocking anyone. Our grocery stores depend on these occasional wolf cries to boost their profits while at the same time providing metro Atlantans everything they need to make a perfect omelet. Our local TV stations also rely on these scares for a quick bump in ratings.

Aside from proving once again that Southerners and snow mix about as well as Justin Bieber and the law, Snowjam 2014 also proved that Southern hospitality is alive and well in Georgia.

The Facebook page SnowedOut Atlanta is an amazing example of a community of strangers coming together to lend a helping hand to stranded motorists in need.

We also saw merchants opening up their stores to weary travelers and neighbors delivering food and water along I-285 in the middle of the biggest traffic jam in our state’s history.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to a few Good Snowmaritans who helped me get home Tuesday night. These kind strangers are the only reason I was on the road for nine hours instead of 21.

My car toughed it out for several hours, getting up hills and out of tight spots that several cars around me were not having any luck with, but at about 7 p.m. my tires decided they were all tired out. I couldn’t get any traction and I was on the wrong side of a steep hill.

Four or five people emerged from a neighborhood with flashlights, rugs and manpower to get my car unstuck and moving again. One of them pointed me in the right direction to avoid the hill and get back on the road a few blocks up. I don’t know their names, which subdivision they were from or anything about them, but I am thankful, as are several other seemingly-hopeless drivers they helped.

Their heroic efforts moved me up the road two miles before the next tight spot.

I have never been five miles from home and yet felt so far away.

I slid, skidded and drifted a couple more times, and a couple of my fellow travelers provided instructions and encouragement that eventually got me into my neighborhood where my car promptly transformed into a luge and careened onto a sidewalk. I did manage to regroup and get home, where I made an attempt to get my car to cooperate enough to get up the driveway. It preferred to sleep in the street for two days, which was fine with me. It took me the rest of last week to even think about driving again.

At the time of this writing, our local meteorologists are predicting more flurrying on Friday. If anyone needs me, I’ll be at home, in front of the fire, sipping hot chocolate and refusing to participate in driving, ice or snow of any kind.

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