Daylight Saving Time has arrived and we grow ever closer to that time of the year known as “Yecchh! Winter! Go away!”
I know that’s not an official time of year, but it works for me, and it does come before spring.
I don’t like winter. Haven’t liked winter in as long as I can remember.
I’m sure I must have liked winter at some point. I have memory snippets of me coming into the house soaked to the skin after cavorting in the snow. The memory snippets do not include information about whether I was having a good time or not.
One winter around 1970 or so, I was living in Upper Darby, Pa. and working at a radio station in West Chester, Pa., which was a commute of 25 miles each way. I woke up to a heavy snow storm one morning — I had to get up at 3 a.m. or thereabouts. I got in my car and drove toward 69th Street, thinking I’d park my car and take a bus to work. Parked the car and realized the public lot I was in used parking meters and I would quickly get a ticket and maybe even get towed while I was broadcasting the news 25 miles away.
So I figured I’d take my car home, then walk back to catch the bus. I was driving an Austin America, which is much like a modern Mini Cooper, only way cheaper.
I got overconfident of the car’s front-wheel drive, so I plowed through the mound of plowed snow that blocked the exit. Aha!
My car’s front wheels went over, but the mound was too high and my car was inexorably stuck, teeter-tottering on the mound of snow.
I pushed and pushed. Snow seeped into every spot on my body, under my wool jacket, made from an Army Air Corps overcoat that was my father’s, even into my undershorts.
The car would not move. I walked across the quiet street to the police station, thinking I might get some help there. Two cops jumped in a patrol car and zoomed across the street. Even with the three of jus pushing, we couldn’t get my car off the snow mound.
The patrol car had a huge push bumper in front. One cop decided to push my car, but the other realized the huge steel push bumper would trash the rear of my little car. So he came up with the bright idea that he would lean against the push bumper with his feet on my bumper and let his partner slowly give the patrol car some gas.
Even in my snow-drenched state, I could picture this cop being crushed to death, or at least to serious injury, by this insane action.
But it worked. I thanked the cops and drove off. I realized that now I didn’t have enough time to go home, walk back and take the bus, so I drove through the rest of the snow store, wet through and through.
At the radio station, I switched on the transmitter, did the first newscast and took off all my clothes, putting my socks and underwear on a radiator to dry, while I put my wet trousers back on.
At 9:10 a.m., I put my coat on and walked around the corner to Woolworth’s and bought socks, underwear, shirt and pants to change into.
Perhaps THAT’S when I learned to hate winter so much.