Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)
How can you tell a snow storm hit Somerville? Kids have to eat dinner outside because their dining room set is saving the family parking space. This comment was posted on my Facebook page when I asked what were the strangest things people saw during the Blizzard of 2013 and its aftermath. The following are bits and pieces (Dave Clark Five, 1964) of what went on around the Ville during the recent whiteout.
A snowed out Somerville had lots to observe as residents scurried to dig themselves out and try to resume their schedules. Mayor Joe Curtatone helped shovel out the first three residents who tweeted him and his valiant effort made the Sunday Herald. Somerville DPW crews worked around the clock and are still out there cleaning and clearing.
We see a lot of different oddities when a blizzard snows us in. Saturday morning I saw a huge tractor-trailer bomb blindly around the corner onto College Ave. from Broadway, ignoring the stop sign. The trucker didn’t know that there would be several vehicles stopped in the street as their drivers went into Dunkies. It could have been ugly.
It seemed that the minute the driving ban was lifted at 4 p.m. on Sunday, all the lead foots were speeding around the city. “Hey look at me, I have four wheel drive!” Yes, but it is the stopping that is difficult. The Governor said to only drive if it was absolutely necessary. Well. It was absolutely necessary for me to get a sub at Angelina’s at 4:30 Sunday! Some of my DPW buddies told me that drivers were actually cutting off the huge plows they were driving. I was being tailgated by a little foreign hot wheels car. What do Somerville people do when someone is on our butt? Correct! We slow down to 5 MPH! Fun in the snow! Pedestrians had to walk in the street but do you think drivers slowed down? Nope.
There seems to be a problem with absentee landlords making sure their properties’ sidewalks are shoveled. There are so many professional and private people just dying to clear driveways and sidewalks for a buck. Email me and I will give you a few numbers. It’s treacherous trying to get around for pedestrians and commuters. And here I go about the joggers! MOVE OUT OF THE WAY OF THE TRAFFIC! Thank you. And would you believe one guy was jogging in shorts and a T-shirt? Some geniuses were riding bikes during the storm and afterwards on Sunday. Someone saw a young lady trying to melt the snow away with a bucket of steaming hot water. Another guy says his neighbor was using a wet-vac to try to get the snow off of his stairs. One lady cracked her windshield trying to scrape off the ice. CALL GIANT GLASS!
My friend was driving her car Sunday afternoon in the gleaming sunlight the day after. She decided to open her sunroof to enjoy the sunshine, forgetting that there was still some snow on top of the car. When she had to stop short, she got a lapful of snow. She laughed it off.
I love this one. “The young guy on the second floor in the house next door to us was yelling at my 85 year old father to turn off his snow blower and do it later. He wanted to know if he had to do it then (so early), and those of you that know my father (seasoned true Somerville guy) can only imagine what his comeback was. In the old days the young used to offer help, now they want you to clear out your driveway when they wake up at three in the afternoon. Unbelievable!”
Somerville folks stayed close to their computers and mobile devices over the weekend. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday I posted a trivia question about Captain Kirk’s middle name (Tiberius) on Facebook. That post led to 147 more comments involving Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, and Three Stooges trivia. It may also have led to a new romance! We’ll see about that. By the way, most men prefer Ginger over Mary Ann!
So, as Somerville continues to clear the snow and resume normal life, we should all try to be patient and courteous. If you are clearing your car off and mess up someone’s clean sidewalk, clear it off when you are done. And if you put furniture in a parking spot to hold it, remember this. I once furnished an apartment back in the late 80’s by taking furniture from parking spaces!
I vividly remember hanging out with my pal Jay Wilcox during the Blizzard of ’78. We walked around the whole city visiting friends and acting crazy. That blizzard was more fun than this one for me!
In closing, urban legend or truth? There is a story going around that a snow plow was doing its thing during the height of the storm (around midnight Friday) while its radio blasted Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls.