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Just a taste of winter

From the reporter's notebook

We are finally getting an idea of what winter is all about.

It was decided that the playoff game at Buffalo was important enough to play Monday, despite the weather.

However, the last week was hardly a blip as far as winters go.

Years ago, while working at the Potlatch Forest Inc. mill at Potlatch, Idaho, I went to work one day when it was

- 41 degrees.

We worked under a metal roof with open sides. Our boss sat in a heated office where he could see all the planer operations.

His response when people complained about the cold was to tell them to wear enough clothes or stay home. He was not a popular boss.

There were several days of this cold, but we got through it.

Growing up in Palouse, the winter weather was always much colder than it gets here. The snow was so deep in 1936, when I started the first grade, that a neighbor boy carried me to school on his back.

Later, while in high school, we used to load a car up with kids and see how far out of town we could get before getting stuck in the snow. The cuts would drift shut and, unless we got high centered, we would try to punch our way through the drifts.

In college we lived in a vacated veteran housing project. We had two-inch walls. I remember once waking up and the blankets were frozen to the wall.

While at the newspaper in Boise, I was surprised when my boss sent me to cover the Rose Bowl.

I don’t know why I decide to drive to Pasadena, but my wife and I did. Big mistake! Bad roads all the way. But it was good to have my own car because we were there 10 days. On the way home we stayed over a night at a motel in Lovelock, Nevada. It was over one below when we started out the next day.

On another vacation trip, this time to Death Valley, we were preparing to leave the next day and checked to see what the weather would be like. We were told clear but cold. I chose to take a short cut to Sacramento that would take me over several mountain passes. Big mistake!

We had to chain up several times on the day trip.

Once, we vacationed at Grand Teton National Park. We closed the park on the last day of September.

We were staying in a rustic cabin, and it was so cold that during the night we took the carpet off the floor and put it over the covers to try to stay warm.

That’s only a few instances that I remember the cold and deep snow. It seemed I was always a sucker to make decisions that put me in the deep of winter.

We don’t have it so bad here.


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