H. Neal Glanville: Glanvilles in the 1969 blizzard

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At the time, nobody had ever seen it snow as much so fast.

The nurses were whispering about being snowed in and how they should shuffle new patients around, and candy stripers were all a flutter about missing their boyfriends.

For me, the brand new, right out of the box daddy of twin girls, it just added to the pile of giggles in my exploding giggle box.

I’d get my new family home; these easterners wouldn’t know a big snow from a bug in their eye. It never ceases to amaze me how a prideful new dad can dig himself a hole deeper than dark and still climb out.

Peeking out the window, the snow didn’t seem all that bad.

Then I saw the plow truck go by. Yup, it was snowing hard and drifting.

“Mr. Glanville?” Oh, yeah, another candy striper has come to congratulate me. “When do you plan on taking your family home?”

(Note of experience: Whenever someone starts a conversation with Mr. this or Mrs. that, it’s not going to go well.)

“It’s going to be another gazillion dollars if your wife and child” … Whoops, this wasn’t a candy striper. I turned to face the dreaded hospital finance officer.

“Ma’am,” I was forcing my voice lower, but the giggles wouldn’t allow it, “it’s not child, it’s Glanville A and Glanville B and we’re headed to the house soon as their ready.”

“But the blizzard,” she smiled in that “you owe me money” way.

“No ma’am, we’re headed to the house,” I said and turned to the window, hoping for a tiny miracle, and as life will have it …

“Excuse me, sir, are you Frank Serra’s son-in-law” one of those voices that demands you stand up straight said.

“Yes, sir,” I responded.

The giggles had left the building, and his hand shot out.

“I’m councilman Scarcelli, sir, and Mr. Serra has asked us to make sure you and the family get home.”

I was clueless then how many “friends” my father-in-law had, but I got a whole lot smarter as time passed.

“Hello, Anita,” he said. The councilman knew my wife?

“This is a little something for the girls’ future” he said, gently placing an envelope inside the blanket of “Glanville B.”

“Thank you, Louis,” my wife said, smiling from the outgoing wheelchair. Yup, she knew him.

“Now then, lets get these girls home,” he said taking control of the wheelchair.

Outside the door, in the half circle drive of the emergency entrance, waited a Pennsylvania State plow truck, our idling car, (the keys were still in my pocket), and a City of Hazleton plow truck.

“Just follow John Michael,” the councilman said pointing to the state truck. “Tony and I will follow you home,” he added, thumb jerking back to the city truck.

Not one neighbor ever spoke a word about the snow plow caravan, or why our street seemed to be cleared a little more often than the others, though when the weather warmed, I did notice some of them became a lot friendlier.

And that, children of Glanville A, Ericca Francis, and Glanville B, Eileen Catherine, is how your mothers made it home during the blizzard of 1969.

Now for something completely different

Have you ever noticed how some people are friendly in the business world, yet somehow you become invisible to them outside of that?

When confronted by their rudeness, they usually apologize saying “Sorry, didn’t see you.”

Which, after you’ve greeted them with a smile and a few words, doesn’t hold much water. It might be acceptable if they owed you money and hadn’t had time to develop a new story to explain their nonpayment.

Not that the story can replace the debt, it’s just better than hearing “I’ve never stiffed anybody,” or my personal favorite “Can you go over what I owe and resubmit the bill?”

Another little notice thing: where do the “tree huggers” go when all the Christmas trees are being slaughtered for fun and profit?

Do they protest? Nope, they sneak into Wal-Mart and buy plastic or metal trees and call it good. In my home, we’ve had Christmas rocks, sagebrush, and tumbleweeds, not in alliance with “tree huggers,” but more along the lines of me bending/breaking a given rule.

There’s a surprise.

This week, Roy’s daughter, Shannon Woodward, well-known author, poet and something else I can’t remember, were discussing the blah blah blahs of writing, my life with her dad and how I hadn’t changed a bit since she was a little girl.

Then she slipped in “Your columns are a slice of life,” her fingers moving through the air like I’d understand it better.

It was bad enough to hear I hadn’t changed much from a lady knocking on the door of 50, but to call the column a “slice of life?”

My brain turned to lumpy Malto-Meal, my mouth caved in, and all I could say was, “Nope, a slice of life is when you cut part of your finger off and worry where it went.” This slice has been for Shannon, and should be used for medicinal purposes only.

Hey, you be careful out there.

Comments

hanginj 5 years ago

               Christmas rocks, tree huggers, bending rules.

You're mondays medicine.

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