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Weather On My Mind; Hoping Mild Weather Will Prevail

I think you will agree that we have had a very mild winter so far here in Johnson County. If my memory serves me well, last winter was one of the coldest I have ever experienced. Maybe there were colder ones when I was younger, but I guess I’ve just become more sensitive to the cold. Don’t laugh; I sus-pect I’m not by myself. There has been very lit-tle snow as yet and that suits me just fine. I have often said that I wouldn’t mind the snow if it didn’t fall on the roads. But unfortunately it falls on the roads creating very slick roads, espe-cially Johnson County’s back roads.
I guess if we run out of anything else to say, we can always talk about the weather. Occasionally I hear folks expressing their thoughts on the weather and most of what I hear is that the weather has certainly changed. I concur with that because I remember when I was a child snowstorms began early — November and some times in October. Now, snow rarely falls before late December.
Unfortunately I didn’t talk to my parents and grandparents enough about their days growing up in Johnson County. But, one of the subjects they often reminisced about was how cold it was and how much snow they had in their child-hood. I heard them tell about some local creeks and ponds freezing over and I think that is rare these days.
Only a few years ago, before four-wheel-drive vehicles came along, it was often necessary to drag out the old tire chains and struggle to put them on just to get out of your driveway. And inevitably, before arriving at your destina-tion, one or more of the chains would break and it was clack, thud, clang, bang, all the way to wherever you were go-ing.
Four-wheel-drive vehi-cles along with Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) did away for the most part with the strug-gle and unpleasantness of chains. Also, many newer vehicles have skid control features. Those marvels of modern engi-neering enabled drivers to have much more con-trol on slick roads up to a certain point. I would caution myself and other folks as well to not be over confident when driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Those ve-hicles are sometimes found in the ditch as well.
When I was young, many folks were largely confined to their home when deep snow came. A roaring fire in the fireplace and the wood-burning cook stove in the kitchen kept away the cold in the living room and the kitchen. But, the back bedroom windows were often iced over.
Some of you will re-member what was called “The Blizzard of ‘96” that occurred in Johnson County. More than three feet of snow occurred in portions of the county. Several folks were with-out heat. Some were caught without food. Some were without elec-tricity during the storm.
While we are on the sub-ject of weather, Moun-tain City’s lowest tem-perature occurred De-cember 30, 1917. It was then that the temperature dropped to minus 32 de-grees Fahrenheit. Now that is cold. Reportedly, another very low tem-perature occurred on December 6, 1962 — 25 degrees below zero. I was serving in the Army at Fort Eustis, Virginia at the time and I heard it was the coldest place in the United States. Per-haps someone can verify that.
Enough about the weather already! I just hope this season of cold weather won’t be bad at all. I’m already looking forward to spring.