Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Opinion

February 19, 2010

Tough sledding? No more demanding than ’61 Olympics in Abb’s Valley

Yes, this is the kind of February and the winter that you older readers remember. Has it been that long ago that Dad had to get the chains out of the garage, lay them on the ground and back the car up to link them around the rear wheels? Remember, too, that school bus drivers had to get up early and fasten the chains before starting out to pick up the children. I wonder if you even know any neighbors now who still have chains that would fit the vehicle.

It is nothing less than amazing the changes made to our driving habits by (1) the availability of four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles and (2) radial, all-season tires.

I drove from Abb’s Valley to Bluefield four years to go to college, had an 8 a.m. class every semester but one, and was never late for roll call. Incredibly, those trips were made in a two-wheel drive car, with the high-tech advantage of having two 50-pound bags of feed (one situated over each rear wheel) in the trunk plus studded snow tires. I had no idea that I was not supposed to be able to make that trip every day or I would have just stayed home. Today’s improvements in vehicles and road equipment probably make most of us old-timers wonder just how in the world we survived.

I have yet to see any children, however, on their sleds during this winter winterland period. It seemed there was a generation that grew up in the “no snow” zone where winters were tepid, at best, or either everything fell at once, like the blizzard of March 1993 when about 30 inches of the white stuff hit the East Coast within a couple of days. Maybe the sled companies went out of business. All the boys in my isolated neighborhood had a sled to ride and every now and then somebody would find an inner tube we could use.

Text Only
Opinion
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Business Marquee
Sister Newspapers' Cartoons
College Sports
Pro Sports
Facebook