Johnson County is normally warm in the spring, downright hot in the summer and normally cool in the fall. But, winter in Johnson County can produce snowstorms to rival those of other locations, excepting of course some areas in western and northern parts of the United States. Why am I mentioning winter in this weeks column? Well, for two reasons. First, winter weather will be here before we know it. The optimist will see winter as a time to sled, ski and have snowball fights and other activities as well. Pessimists will bemoan the slick roads, bone chilling cold and many other negatives that winter brings. But mainly Johnson County folks take the weather in stride.
The second reason I brought up the subject of winter and snow is that I recently ran across two issues of The Tomahawk that featured headlines and stories about powerful snowstorms that had occurred.
The earliest one was a March 18, 1993 edition. The headline Blared: Biggest Blizzards Blast Buries County. From the looks of the front-page pictures, the headline was not an exaggeration. The story under the headline called the storm the storm of the century. It told of people heading to the stores to purchase necessities and of citizens being out of their medicine, food and other items. Some people had no heat due to an electrical outage. The newspaper story said the snow came down from Friday afternoon straight through Sunday morning. It was reported that there was a minimum of two feet and of course where it was drifted it was much deeper. It was reported in the article that highway department employees did the best they could on the snow and ice covered roads. Officers of the Johnson County Sheriffs Department and the Mountain City Police Department were kept busy delivering food, medicine and other needed items to citizens.
The other edition of The Tomahawk was published in January of 1996. The headline was blizzards Blast Buries Johnson County. Reportedly, the snow was from a foot and a half to more than three feet deep. The snow in Johnson County was part of a storm that practically paralyzed most of the East Coast. As in the famed Blizzard of 93, many folks worked to help others during the difficult time. When people got wind of the storm, they rushed to the store to stock up on necessities.
Now I know this column is off-season, but those two Tomahawk Newspapers showed people working together to weather a storm. That is typical of Johnson County folks. And although winter is quite a few months away, when the sun is boiling down, we can always close our eyes and imagine a winter scene and perhaps feel a little cooler.