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The Better (Snow) Angels Of Our Nature

Southern hospitality is alive and well in the midst of last week's paralyzing winter storm.

Chris Queen


February 4, 2014 - 2:30 pm
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Last Tuesday, a winter storm made its way to the Deep South and paralyzed cities like Atlanta and Birmingham for 30 hours. Atlanta found itself woefully underprepared when hundreds of businesses and school systems closed at nearly the same time. Motorists became stranded on crowded interstates as commutes ground to a halt. My own family experienced the harrowing “winter hell” – to use the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s term. My cousin had to spend the night in his truck in conditions so cold that the screen on his phone shattered, and my sister-in-law ventured out Wednesday morning to encounter other drivers stuck in a day’s worth of traffic.

There’s plenty of frustration all over Atlanta as a result of the storm. Abandoned cars sat for over a day, out of gas and left behind on highways and side streets alike. Students spent the night at schools when school systems chose not to allow buses out in the worsening conditions. City and state officials have played a sort of blame game (even as Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed whizzed past jammed motorists in the emergency lane en route to a Weather Channel interview), and citizens, members of the media, and officials at all levels of government struggle to figure out what went wrong. Some conspiracy nuts have mused that the government created a fake snowstorm to paralyze the South.

While the South revels in its frustrations with the storm and other areas of the country have some fun at our expense, Snowmageddon 2014 has given us some shining examples of the better side of human nature. Southerners cared for each other in the freezing cold, some of them in clever and ingenious ways.

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During the morning of the storm, my wife and I spent some time mocking the Weather Channel and their panic over the fact that snow was starting to stick to the grass and the pavement was wet. Mind you, we are in the mountains of Colorado. We do understand what happened to you; that 2 1/2 inches when you have no snow removal equipment and it is snow over ice is a bugger when you are not used to snow. But the morning mayhem was hilarious.

What happened in the afternoon and evening could have been a disaster. It was the nature of the people in the South that prevented it. If Chicago had been hit with a storm big enough to do to them what happened in Birmingham and Atlanta; the human predators would have run wild and there would have been a lot of deaths.

It is good to see that part of America still exists east of the Mississippi.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
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