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January’s winter mood swings have been extreme this year.
We’ve gone from comfortable shirt-sleeve weather to heavy rain and floods, then winter storm warnings and, so forecasters say, bright sunshine.
I remember one January that was pretty monochromatic — read that as snowy white and bitterly cold.
In January 1978, I managed to make my way through a winter storm back to campus at Western Kentucky University.
I was one of a handful of students to get back to the dorm, but with more than a foot and a half of snow and ice, and winds roaring from 50 to 70 mph, school was canceled for at least a couple of weeks.
Nowadays, officials seem to have plans for just about every emergency imaginable, but back then, we were left to fend for ourselves.
None of us in the dorm had much in the way of food supplies on hand, and it was impossible to get to a grocery, by vehicle or on foot.
We all began pooling our resources to make meals. I’m sure, under declarations of hardship, the left-behind food of many an absent roommate was cooked up and eaten as well.
I’m embarrassed to say that our first foray out was to one of the nearer establishments just off campus — Red Barn Liquor.
The blizzard conditions were almost like those on the old farms requiring a rope tied between house and the barn, but there was no rope and the barn was a simple package store.
I remember we walked single file, trading lead people now and again so someone else could have a turn breaking a trail through the deep snow.
I also recall the pina coladas we made afterward were worth the near-frostbite.
The big winter here was the Blizzard of 1993, which hit March 12 and paralyzed the region. I’ve heard great stories from my neighbors, but I’d like to hear more.
In fact, we want to put together a special section commemorating the event.
If you have some good pictures and some special survival stories, please let us know. Gather your photos, write up your experiences and mail them to 1993 Blizzrd, Roane County News, P.O. Box 610, Kingston, TN, 37763. Or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to put your contact information on there. Call me at 376-3481, Ext. 320, for more information.