The strangest thing happened. I mean, it snowed three feet in 1993 but that wasn’t even the weirdest part of the story.
My friend Chuck….well, you probably know him. He’s the mayor of Brushy Mountain. Known and beloved by most, revered by many. Regardless of what it says about him on the bathroom wall at Tommy Dunn’s, he’s a pretty decent guy.
So the other day, Chuck was evidently going through some old, random photographs, and he decided to post and share a few. Some were of the Blizzard of ’93, and one in particular caught my eye, so I showed it to my kids.
Two thirds of my boys were appropriately impressed, but the other…well, he was skeptical. I’ll allow that three feet of snow is hard to comprehend unless you’ve seen it and lived through it. Yes, son, it really snowed three whole feet.
If you are old enough to remember the Blizzard of ’93, and you were around here to experience it, you probably have some stories to tell. It wasn’t just the snow, but the awful wind and drifts. It also got cold. Like 25-degrees-below-zero cold. The interstate was shut down, they called in the National Guard, and they had stranded folks housed at the high school in Bland. (There might have been folks shacked up other places, too, but this is what I remember). The only thing that would make it up the road here on Nobusiness was the TW20 tractor, which my brother Hash used to go about a mile up the road to retrieve Lionel Blankenship to come help with the milking. Even though Lionel only lived a mile from us, it was too hard to get him back home, so he just stayed with us for about a week. When you can’t go anywhere, including school, you find ways to occupy your time. We played cards and board games. But mostly on a dairy farm, we wrestled with snow.
Folks, I’m all of five foot three. There was three feet of snow on the ground. This is what I’m relaying to my son, trying to get him to imagine, his short mother, carrying five gallon buckets of water and feed through three feet of snow. I could barely walk. No one could. It was just unreal. And imagine trying to get a diesel tractor to start with temperatures likes that, or busting up water for the cattle to drink, because literally everything is frozen, including you after about five minutes. Repeat the next day and the next…over and over and over. It was crazy.
I’m telling my kid all this, and he isn’t calling me a liar. He says he gets it. But that picture that Chuck shared….he doesn’t think it’s real.
Doubting Thomas said, “That’s photo-shopped.” I laughed out loud. His brothers and I both tried to tell him how ridiculous he was being. It’s not a digital image! We didn’t have photo shop in 1993! “Stalin manipulated photographs,” he said. OK, now he’s just showing off. But come on! Most of all, I was THERE! Not the exact spot this picture was taken, but I remember the snow!
I was so taken aback at his skepticism, it got me thinking. We are so apt to believe what we’re told sometimes. We hear something, we read it online, or random gossip for that matter. And yet there are so many pictures that ARE photo-shopped or misinformation spread, that my son has come to question everything, it seems. How ironic, then, that when he is actually faced with something that I know to be true, he doesn’t believe it. This is disturbing.
I’m trying to put my finger on the big picture here. Society and truth. How do we know anything for sure unless we experienced it? We believe and trust. We go by what we’re taught. We believe what we hear, and what the media tells us….the media…that’s another can of worms for another day. It’s disturbing that in the face of truth, he couldn’t recognize it…because of what he’s been told in the past, that is, not to believe. WOW. My mind is a little blown here.
The name of the column is just sayin’ and that’s pretty much what I’m doing. I don’t have a solution to this little quandary. If you do, feel free to share. In the meantime, I’m going to look and see if I have any pictures of my own from the Blizzard of ‘93. I’m just surprised my son didn’t argue because the picture wasn’t black and white.
A teacher and mother, Meagan Morehead Bradshaw lives on a farm in Bland County; contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.