Blizzard of 93

March 13, 2003

It’s been unseasonably warm here, about 70 degrees as a high with the low 40’s upper 50’s as our low. So we enjoyed leaving our windows open and taking a nice walk after dinner. The last time it was this warm in March, we got hit with “The Perfect Storm”. Maine got hit with a hurricane that would later be the star of a George Clooney movie, while we in the south got a couple of feet of snow. 2 feet I believe. Now this amount of snow isn’t much to some areas, but it crippled Chattanooga and most of the east coast.

This morning, on talk radio, they had a guest who sorta became a “hero” during that blizzard of 1993. I’m not sure of his real name, but his on-air name is “BoSox Bob”. And to hear his story was really funny. See, all Bob wanted to do was watch the final 4. He had no heat, no power and knew that the game was on. He fired up the battery-powered radio and heard his station on the air. So he figured that they have power and he could at least watch the game there. So he hiked about 5 miles in the snow, around some very bad curves.

When he came in, he started manning the boards. In between taking calls, he would write little notes from callers. “My wife is on dialysis and needs to get to Flintstone”. So he would relay that message and then someone would reply on-air that they would take her. The interviewer this morning, said that it sounded like scanner traffic. So what eventually happened, is that all the days long broadcast became, was a kind of “Swap Shop”. People would offer to 4×4 people to where they needed ot be, offer to deliver firewood, find lost children, etc. It was really a good example of a community coming together. And in the middle of it all, was BoSox. So out of that he became a sorta hero.

An old girlfriend of mine worked in a Waffle House while she was in school as a chemistry major. She would tell stories of having to stay at work, because we all know that Waffle House never closes. They would sleep in the back stock room in shifts. They fed the police and all of the people out, keeping the roads clear. So if they were out of stock, they had a police escort to restock. Another friend, who’s now an Air Force pilot, worked at Blockbuster Video and was asked to come in. Blockbuster sent a taxi after him to make sure they had someone to staff the store. Because, believe it or not, people were actually hiking miles to rent a video.

My personal memory is getting a little fuzzier about the whole time. I don’t remember waking up. I just remember that it was cold, we had no power, and I was stuck with my family for way too long. We didn’t really rough it, we hooked up our camping stove outside and would cook meat or soup. Our wood stove would boil water and hold the occasional pot. Actually my family was really good about everything. We laughed, listened to BoSox on the radio, cooked. We wound up closing off most of the house and stayed in our Den with the fireplace. I do remember being panicked because I was trying to get into another College and I was stuck in the snow on the day of a test.

I think we had 3 or 4 days without power. The electric board connected the cables on day 1, but didn’t check anyone beyond the front of the subdivision. So we sat another 2 or three days in the cold and dark. I think Niki didn’t have power for over a week. I later worked with someone who would tell stories about the 2 weeks they didn’t have power.

We warmed up and told our stories, like vets returning from battle. “See that scar Merv? I did that while trying to boil water during that blizzard of 93.” “Oh yeah? Well, we ate vienna sausages and beanie weenies for a month, until they cut us out of the forest that fell around us. “Oh Yeah? Well my son hiked 5 miles both ways uphill to rent a Nintendo, he lost a toe, but we got to play John Madden Football all week long.”

So what’s your memory of March 13, 1993?