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Looking back 30 years...the ice storm of 1991

by Ron Holdraker
March 5, 2021

This is a reprint my column from March 5, 1991 edition of the Times.

DEAR DIARY·

The Tragic Effects of a Storm on

 a Newspaper Editor

EDITOR’S LOG - STAR DATE 1057.7

SUNDAY, March 3, 1991 

10:00 PM Dear Diary: I am tired. Finished newspaper deadline at 6:00 p.m. tonight. Looking forward to a  quiet peaceful night.

MONDAY, March 4

1:08 A.M. Wife rudely wakes me up to complain of loud noises and crunching sounds outside. I tell her it is  probably her imagination, and to shut up and go  back to sleep.

3:00 A.M Wife wakes me up with constant prancing. I tell her to quit being such a wimp and to let me sleep.

3:10 A.M. Kids now panicking. Wife begins to read bible. I’m  still tired. Everyone ends up in my bed. I fall asleep.

6:00 A.M. Everybody wakes up.  It’s cold in bed. All the family runs to window to witness tragedy of storm. I stay in bed.

6:13 A.M. Kids hollering that the loud thump we all heard in the night, wasn’t my son Devin falling out of bed  again, but a tree hitting the house.

6:20 A.M.  I and my son, Wade talke a shower in the dark. Kind of a neat experience.

6:22 A.M. I  realize I just shampooed my hair with Avon Body Gel.

6:45 A.M. Decide to cover storm first hand. Take son Wade with me.   We both drive out to take pictures of storm ravaged land. 

7:15 A.M. Pouring rain. Getting soaked, but getting fantastic shots of storm damage. (Ansel Adams - eat your  heart out!)

8:39 A.M. Really tired! Really wet. Fantastic shots from all over the town. Dreams of possible Pulitzer Prize enter my head.

9:58 A.M.  Call wife at home. Find out that basement is flooded. (bummer) and  it is  getting really cold in the house. Determine that press coverage of storm has high priority. Cannot print  paper today due to power outage. Decide to change front page and add four more pages. Besides my photo coverage is pure piece of artwork!

10:05 A.M. Just one or two more   pictures left on camera. About to get  out of car and take final fantastic shots.

10:06 A.M. Son Wade drops camera on the ground -- twice!  Camera is broken. All fantastic shots ruined.

10:07 A.M. Wade wisely decides to call it a day.

10:20 A.M. I begin journey to all the places to re-take all the fantastic photographs. 

3:56 P.M Really tired. Really wet. Now have many shots of storm

4:00 P.M. Start writing fantastic storm stories

9:00 P.M. Finish writing stupid   storm stories. 

 TUESDAY, March 5

12:00 NOON  Print paper and begin late distribution to newsstands.

1:00 P.M. Tired of storm. Tired of newspaper. 

1:04 P.M. Tired of stupid people standing in road, taking cutesy artsy pictures of ice laden trees. Consider trying to run a couple of them over, but worried about damage to car.

1:30 P.M. Now realize electric power is not coming back on anytime soon.

1:33 P.M. Wife distraught over my suggestion of burning her side of the family photo albums to keep warm.

l:37 PM. Kids realize that time off from school useless without television.

1:45 PM Realization that our tropical fish are dropping over.

l:47 P.M. Begin knitting little-sweaters for tropical fish,.

2:20 PM. Abandon house after basement is pumped for second time.  

2:23 P.M.  Confirm that Grandma has electric power her house. Notify  mother that we would like to come for a “visit”.

2:25 P.M. Tell Myrna the Attack Cat, and Molly Dog, that it’s everyone for themselves. 

5:25 P.M.  Nice and warm at Grandma’s house. I instruct son Devin to  begin coughing on cue for Grandma’s sympathy. Eureka! It worked. Spend the night at Grandma’s.

 WEDNESDAY (I think)

Losing all track of time and days.  Becoming really edgy and irritable.

2:23 P.M Back at home. Realize horrible smell in house is  probably not due to Molly Dog farts. 

2:25 PM Realize stuff in refrigerator is now melted and rotting.  

3:30 P.M. Basement pumped out by Andrea and David Kords with portable generator. The tropical fish are all but “fishicles” .

3:52 PM Myrna the Attack Car adds two more victims to her list, as she bites David and Andrea Kords.

5:05 P.M. Kords finish pumping basement, heating house up. Decision for family to spend night at home

5:13 PM: Kords and Paganos give us their kerosene heaters to stay warm!

8:40 PM - House nice and toasty.   Myrna the Cat is content.

 THURSDAY

7:00 A.M. House is too hot. Smell of kerosene heater is all but unbearable. 

8:10 A.M. Call lawyer. See if lawsuit can be filed against Kords and Paganos for the yucky smell of kerosene  throughout the house. Lawyer says    probably not.

1:49 PM - Power comes back on. Family jumps for joy. All is not normal, as kids realize cable is still out.

FRIDAY

10:45 PM Basement really begins to stink from massive flooding and heavy mildew. Reports of neighbors huddling together to weather the storm, begin to surface. All nerves and many friendships tattered.  

3:00 P.M. Decision made to wait to buy generator until annual Gananda Garage Sale in June. Probably can pick one up cheap - real cheap.

***********

All joking aside, I would like to thank the Kords and the Paganos, Wayne Nichols, Bob Taylor and a whole lot of kudos to the hard working  volunteer firemen throughout the area for a job really well done!!!

 - THE HOLDRAKERS

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