Our current weather condition reminds me of the Ice Storm of
March 1961. When the storm came it was
during the night. In March, we woke up
to a frozen white Winter Wonder Land. I
worked in Atlanta at the time and it was too dangerous to try to drive to
work. So, I called in. So did all my friends that were not away at
college. We went out to play on the
frozen slippery terrain.
Larry Southern got a near worthless used car from his
father's car lot and we rode around and learned a lot about the physics of
driving on slippery ice. We went to Town
& Country Shopping Center, which was empty of customers' cars because of the
weather and used the wide open spaced parking lot as a training ground. We would spin, get speed up and slam on the
brakes en enjoy the slide. Later we
tried climbing a steep hill and I forgot what happened but it put an end to our riding that car.
The steep hill was leading off Powder Springs Street across
from Garrison Road. We were just a block
or two from the Marietta Country Club.
We got the idea of going up to the golf course and sliding down the big
hill there on the green. When we walked
up to the Country Club we realized we
were not the first ones to think of sliding down the hill on the golf
course. Many kids were there
sliding. They had serving trays they
were using that they slipped in and got from the dining or kitchen area of the
club. Other kids had flattened big
cardboard boxed, and even one group of kids brought a car hood they rode
on. I tried a serving tray, a cardboard
flat, but finally got the not so bright idea of riding down on a round red Coke
sign, which the face of it was facing the ice.
I started down the hill, picked up speed, and for some reason the Coke
sign started to spin, or I should say
the Coke sign and I started to spin faster and faster.
The Coke sign became a runaway out of control Coke
sign. I couldn't get off or guild it. At the bottom of the hill is normally a
pretty little pond. That day it was
partially frozen . I hit the pond, it may have skidded to put me
more in the middle, then sunk.
It was thigh deep in cold icy water. I walked out.
The fun was over.
I needed dry pants.
My pants were sloshing and about
to get stiff with ice. I was walking.
Sometimes I can be resourceful when it comes to
surviving. I sloshed and crinkled my way
across town to Colonial Circle, where Mrs. Latimer lived. My friend Gene "Jenky" Latimer was
killed in a drag race the previous May or early June. I knocked on
Mrs. Latimer's door. She was
happy to see an old friend of Jenky's. I
told her my pants were wet, could I borrow a pair of Gene's pants. She gladly gave me a pair, which I went to
the back and changed into. Then Mrs. Latimer
baked us some banana-nut bread, which we had with hot apple cider.
Still, each time I ride by Colonial Circle off Fairground
Street, or eat banana bread I think of
memory that bubbles to the surface of my brain from time to time that I would
prefer it didn't, is one time when I was a timekeeper/Date Collection clerk at
the Atlanta Postal Office in the Federal Annex
on Spring and Forsyth Streets, right next door to old Rich's.
A big snow storm came in essentially paralyzing Atlanta.
But the mail must get through.
The time keepers had to be there to see that those that came in get
paid. I put a blanket in the car in case
I got stuck or something and dodged stranded cars all the way to Atlanta. My reporting time was midnight. Then, it took about 10 clerks per shift to
run the time timekeepers office, but more in the daytime, so there were 35
timekeeper positions. We were time timekeepers for about 5000
When I reported to work there was only one guy , his name is
Salmen, was there on the evening tour,
doing the work of 10 men. I jumped in
and started helping. I was the only one
that showed up for my shift. Salmen
stayed and helped me. We worked all
night long hard, without breaks, lunch, or anything. The morning shift only one person could make
it in. So, Salmen and I stayed and
helped him. No other clerks showed up
for two days. Three of us worked doing
our jobs at a high paced level for over two days without sleep or breaks, so
that people would be paid right.
Did anybody get any kind of recognition or monetarily awards
for our dedication? Of course they
did. REM, the Department Head of Finance
got public recognition from the District Manager and also because of people
under him saved the day he got a quality step increase, which would be a bonus when his retirement was
figured. Not bad, for a person, who said
he couldn't get out of his driveway to come to work.
By the way, almost 20 years later when I was a window clerk
in Marietta a lady I was waiting on proudly told me her father was retired from
the Postal Service. When she told me her
dad was REM I told her what I thought of us doing all the hard work and he got
the monetarily award for our work. She looked stunned and probably avoid coming
to my window on her next visits.