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Focus on Fostoria - Jan0205

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Winter weather not snow fun anymore
LEONARD SKONECKI
Focus Correspondent Jan. 2, 2005

You know what the problem is, don’t you? I mean with the snow.

We aren’t very good housekeepers. Specifically, we don’t dust properly. That’s the problem.
Here’s how our slovenly housekeeping brought us to grief two days before Christmas. Snow is a form of precipitation formed by the formation of water vapor into itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, solid crystals when the temperature is below freezing. Those tiny crystalline guys are snowflakes.

Now here’s the housekeeping part. Snowflakes, like raindrops, form around specks of dust.
Viola! No dust, no snowflakes.

Ah, now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Look, Leonard, the dust around which the snowflakes form isn’t on my end table or the bookcase or the dresser. It’s a few thousand feet up in the atmosphere. You can’t reach it.”
Details, details.

Oh well.

Personally, I couldn’t resist getting out my 4 foot yardstick and taking a few scientific measurements on Thursday. The snow in my alley was 16 inches deep.

The front sidewalk measured an even 20 inches. In the yard, I had a little more drifting. It was 28 inches high next to my garage.

But it was next to my driveway where it was the deepest. I had a 40-inch drift there.

Of course, there was nothing to do but start shoveling. The problem was that after a while, I started running out places to pile the snow. After a few hours of such nonsense, I thought nuts to that noise and went for a walk.

My first stop was the middle of Countyline Street where I took pictures of a nearly deserted US Route 23. That’s the one good thing I can say about the blizzard — four nice, wide lanes of street with hardly any trucks.

The city’s warnings to get cars off the designated snow streets didn’t faze some folks. I found a few cars buried on Fremont Street.

Some owners were digging their autos out. Others were content to leave theirs be, immovable vehicular snow sculptures.

I wandered down toward the Kaubisch Memorial Public Library. Ran into John Valachovic shoveling snow on Wood Street.

“This is my birthday present,” he said.

Sure enough, it was his birthday, but we decided 18 inches of snow wasn’t much of a present. Next year, he’s hoping for something else.

Mark Cassidy, a Fostoria firefighter, was across the street clearing all the crystallized water vapor encrusted dustflakes away from the library. Mark is the library’s newest employee. He handles maintenance.

I think it was his first day on the job and a whale of a first day at that. He’s got to figure it can only get better.

Wandered downtown. Don Brenamen was wielding a snowblower at a mean clip in front of Custom Corner, getting the walk cleared for Friday’s shoppers.

I asked if he was enjoying the weather. We decided there is nothing better than moving a foot or two of snow from one place to another.

After all, what else would you do two days before Christmas? Actually, the way I figure it, shoveling snow might just have it all over Christmas shopping.

I stopped by the Focus and discovered that Siobhan Gatrell, Linda Wagner and Kim Butcher bravely made it in and were getting the weekend paper out. I hung around long enough to annoy them and rearrange my extra socks, longjohns, and sweatshirts. It’s hard work walking all over the place with multiple layers of clothes on. I felt like the Pillsbury Dough Boy on patrol.

I was tromping down Main Street when a passing motorist wanted to know why the streets weren’t properly plowed.

I checked the front of my toasty warm down parka to see if I was wearing my badge that says: “Leonard, Chief Operational Officer, Fostoria Snowflake Eradication Brigade.”

I was not.

I suggested that A) the street workers all took off to drink beer and play cards or B) there are lots of streets and there was a lot of snow.

That explanation must have been unsatisfactory because the conversation dried up.

I’d walked long enough so I headed home. Went down Tiffin Street and saw Aubrey Peltier and Stephanie Loomis having fun in the snow. So were their playmates, their dogs Rupert and Lincoln, who plunged into heaps of snow and emerged with snowflakes on their snouts. The pooches ran through the snow like it was fun.

I used to think snow was fun once.

 

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