Editorial

City street crews came through for citizens

Friday, March 13, 2015

An extreme thank you is appropriate for the hardy souls in the Portageville Street Division, farmers and other volunteers for their dedication and fantastic job of removing the snow and ice from Portageville city streets.

Let's face it. This winter has been somewhat exceptional on the weather front for our region. We did not experience the extended electrical outage that we faced just a few, short years ago. But the snowfall and ice combined to close schools and businesses and brought much of our community and region to a standstill.

When Wednesday rolled around this past week, everyone knew we were in for a humdinger.

But as most of us went to bed Wednesday night and into the early morning hours of Thursday, street crews in Portageville were already hard at work. By Thursday afternoon, most of the main streets in Portageville were cleared. Those who had no choice but to venture out were able to make their way, thanks to the long hours of work by the city crews.

Like most other activities, to be successful, our city crews needed three elements - adequate equipment, extensive training and dedication. Without reservation, the City came through with flying colors and, what well could have been a dangerous issue for our streets, became a success story instead. Granted, there will still be those who complain that their particular street was not cleared. But the major streets that carry us to our businesses, our stores and our medical facilities were.

It's difficult for any community to address the ravages of Mother Nature, especially in a region such as ours, where these major winter storms are fairly uncommon. However, city leaders recognized the potential far in advance and made plans accordingly. The clean streets and access to our vital city services speaks volumes for those on the front lines. We're proud of the tireless efforts and sound leadership that carried us through the past three weeks.

But, where has all the snow fun gone?

It is during a winter storm like this when I am reminded of the many times as young, grade school boys, we would venture out and make snow forts, have snow ball wars or build snow men. I remember one time, several neighborhood kids built a nine-foot snowman. With the amount of snow that fell last week, it would have been perfect for building another one. We even had to use a ladder as a ramp to put up the middle section.

Snow also made it easy for tracking down rabbits. Since we were out of school, playing like pioneers, we would head to the creek beds and look for them. Since it was nearing the end of the season, we grabbed our 410's and "went huntin' wabbits." I hunted in the field behind my father's house. It was our property, so I did not have any problems. I may have been 100 yards away from the house, when I saw two grey ears in the thicket. I aimed, pulled the trigger, and bang. I shot my first wild game. I proudly walked backed into the house and said I had dinner for tonight, and demanded my stepmother make a pot of dumplings to go with them. Would you believe they laughed at me? I could not believe how much meat that little rabbit had. However, later in life, my bubble burst, when I was told they had also added chicken. That was the end of my hunting days.

We had to make our own entertainment. We did not have Playstations, Game Boys or the other latest entertainment systems of today. No matter what the temperatures, we took to the outdoors. For the most part, as a school child, you were lucky to have a television in your bedroom. Very few did back in the '70's. I finally got a cable connection placed in my room, but had to use an older model, black and white television. Hey, I didn't complain. I was still able to watch what I wanted to all by myself.

My wife and I drove around the area after last week's snowstorm and did not see one child playing outside. We saw two snowmen, maybe three. My, how time and kids have changed.