City Beat: Last Week’s Big Snowstorm Made ‘Social Distancing’ Easier In Macon County
• LAST WEEK’S big snowstorm that dumped a dozen inches of the white stuff on Macon County over two days sure made the health department’s advice to follow “social distancing” to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 a lot easier to observe for most people. After all, most county residents stayed at home during the time it was snowing and blowing across the Decatur area reducing the odds of being infected with COVID-19.
• IF YOU think last week’s snowstorm was bad, my “Scrapbook” article on pages 4 and 5 of this week’s print and online editions of the Decatur Tribune takes another look at “The Winter of the Deep Snow” in Macon County. Tom Emery also has a “perspective” piece on how that winter affected the entire state, starting in the left column on the front page and finishing in the right column on page 5.
Handling last week’s snowstorm was easy in comparison to when Abraham Lincoln lived in Macon County and experienced that terrible winter. (Lincoln and his family members moved out of Macon County, along with many other settlers, as soon as that winter was over.)
• I’M thankful that we were able to truck last week’s print edition of our newspaper to the post office and newsstands on time considering the icy, snowy condition of the roads. Fortunately, we were able to finish printing in time to do most of the trucking Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning — just ahead of the storm! Special thanks to press and production workers, post office personnel and to longtime associate Kirk Henneberry who braved the elements and got the newspapers trucked to the post office and newsstands. Kirk has been a great help in distribution for over 30 years. Many subscribers received the Trib on time as delivered by USPS workers and others, where unplowed snow made mail delivery impossible, received their copy a day or two late.
• THERE’S ONLY been one week out of the 53 years I’ve been editor and publisher of this newspaper, that weather prevented us from getting that week’s edition to the post office on time That happened many years ago when the snow was so high that about all the roads were closed and it was beyond our control to get the newspapers to the post office. We were finally able to get them to the post office on Friday back then. Last week did not become the second time in 53 years the Trib was delayed in getting to the post office for delivery by the weather and I am thankful. Obviously, meeting publishing and delivery deadlines to get each week’s edition of the Decatur Tribune to our many thousands of readers in Macon County and across the nation is very important to me and those who work for me.
• REMEMBER when we were kids in school and received word that schools would be closed because of snow or ice? That was such a happy message back then. Well, I couldn’t help but notice last week, during and following the “Big Snow Of 2022” that some of the schools that were closed had “virtual learning” which meant the schools were closed but students still have to go to school “virtually”. I’m glad that I was a kid before “virtual learning” and a “snow day” meant freedom from school so we could go out and play in the snow all day. That was in the “good old days”. (big smile).
• SPECIAL THANKS to all of the city, county and state workers (plus private snow removal businesses) and all other personnel who worked hard to clear roads, highways and streets after last week’s historic snow. While the term “snow job” is a negative one when it often comes from the mouth of some politicians, it is a positive phrase when it is about the “snow job” area workers did to clear the snow. Thank you to all!!!
• I COULDN’T help but notice that a reporter on WAND-TV was doing a live report outside the front of the studio during last week’s big snow. She was talking about how slippery it was because of the ice on the road under the snow and how the few cars on the road were just creeping along because of the dangerous conditions. Wouldn’t you know it? While she was talking about the slow, sparse traffic some vehicle in the background was going by at what appeared to be a high speed! Actually, it seemed to me on the roads I traveled that the people who normally drive crazy when the roads are dry and clear also drive crazy when they are snowpacked and icy!
• WHILE I’M on the subject of WAND-TV, I really like the new set for news, weather and sports. It looks spacious and sharp and I am impressed with its appearance. Great look for WAND-TV and everyone at the station should be very pleased with it.
• J. THOMAS McNAMARA’s obituary can be found on page 21 of the print and online editions of the Trib. I’m sure going to miss my longtime friend and my sports editor for the past 46 years. Rest in peace, J. Thomas.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00.