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Neither Sleet, Nor Ice: My Atlanta Ice Storm Journal

Just a tad cold for Georgia — The Marietta Town Square

As far as ice storms go this one is fairly tame, at least as of noon in Marietta, Georgia. On the day my wife and I were married back in December 9, 1972 in Hamden, Connecticut—-now that was an ice storm. You could hardly walk two feet without falling down. Indeed, as I was heading to the wedding this nice old lady slipped and fell, and I went to her aid, but alas I slipped and fell on top of her.

No such incidents today. A chunk of a magnolia tree fell to the ground with a thud as I was walking to the Town Square. Then some bad boy in a behemoth FX-4 something or other, came fishtailing around a corner up at the Town Square, causing me to mutter, “Hey, stupid, I’m walking here,” and him probably thinking, “Hey, stupid I am driving here.”

In a calmer moment I listened as the Cobb County Courthouse’s American flag, stiff from the ice and cold, resonated like a canvas sail flapping in the wind.

There was just enough traction that cars, sensibly driven, could get around okay, and walkers could easily keep their footing. However, it was still slick. I watched a teen-aged boy take a running start, then with arms akimbo, striking a surfing like pose, go sliding 15 feet down the sidewalk as if on an ocean wave

I think the only store open on the square was Efes Turkish restaurant, which I hope won’t have any belly dancing today. The very thought of it runs chills up one’s spine.

The Town Square with its fountain, bandstand and gazebo was empty except for several clutches of young Hispanic men, who were taking photos of each other with decidedly low tech cameras. Yes, it was the first time they ever saw an ice storm, and they were documenting it for their friends and families. Since the Marietta Town Square resembles a Mexican or Latin American plaza, it makes sense that they would come here to take each other’s photos. Only the ice might be lost in translation.

Of course, we have all heard the old ditty: “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.” And so it was with Jim Bruce, our Forest Hills neighborhood mail carrier, who was gingerly walking from sidewalk to fence post to mail box as he delivered our mail. It took him two hours to get to work this morning from Cartersville, and thank god he made it. What we have done without today’s two pieces of mail: One perfume catalog and one e-learning catalog.

I’m home now. Just had a hot cup of tea and as I scribble these notes I notice it is not over yet. Rain is falling again, maybe I will still have a chance of slipping and falling on top of some helpless old lady, or maybe someone will slip and fall on top of some hapless old man, which could be me.

The Author in a Self Portrait

Editor’s Note:: Although they never mentioned that they would have a deadline, it looks like I got shut out of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s call for readers’ ice storm comments and photos. Thank heaven I can post it all here. Frankly as I was writing the little feature above, I was thinking, “Am I just wasting my time?” But I enjoyed doing it and have my own little place to publish it and will send emails about it to friends and relatives.

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