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Examiner
  • Bill Althaus: This isn't the first bad snow storm I've faced

  • As I look out my office window and see my 65-year-old neighbor trying to help another neighbor whose car is stuck in the snow – excuse me for a minute, while I go try to help them out.

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  • As I look out my office window and see my 65-year-old neighbor trying to help another neighbor whose car is stuck in the snow – excuse me for a minute, while I go try to help them out.
    Ugh, two hours later, it reminds me of some of the nightmare snow trails and tribulations I've experienced over the past few years.
    The most treacherous came in 1982 or 1983 when I was the beat writer covering the NBA's Kansas City Kings down at Kemper Arena.
    The Kings were never a big attraction, unless Larry Bird, Magic or Dr. J came to town. On an overcast Sunday afternoon, I arrived at Kemper in the midst of a light sleet. I anticipated a sellout, but the crowd size had more in common with a Denver Nuggets or Seattle Supersonics game.
    Then, an announcement came over the PA system that the 12th Street Bridge leading down to the bottoms area was closed and everything was iced over.
    I don't remember anything about the game, but I do remember that it took me about four hours to get home as the icy glaze made for a treacherous ride.
    The worst snowstorm I ever challenged came a few years back when my wife and I drove to the Hyatt Regency for the visitation of late Kansas City Chiefs band leader Tony DiPardo.
    It was whiteout conditions and Interstate 70 was more like a parking lot than intestate, but I felt honor bound to pay my last respects to a man I loved and admired. We had worked together on his autobiography a few year years earlier and his charm and enthusiasm were infectious.
    We thought about getting a room at the Hyatt, but we decided to ride the storm out. Somehow, we managed to make it home, but the snowy blasts and passing 18-wheelers made for an adventure that still takes my breath away when I think about it.
    On the same tragic day the late Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas was paralyzed as his limousine raced to KCI so he could catch a flight to an NFL playoff game in St. Louis, I witnessed a car careen off Route AA into a deep embankment about a half a mile east of Adams Dairy Parkway in Blue Springs.
    The driver of the car in front of me and I rushed over – well, it might be more appropriate to say slid over – to see if we could help. The car was upside down and cradled in the branches of a dead tree.
    We managed to get the driver out of the passenger side of his car and trekked up the hillside as emergency vehicles arrived. My family was waiting in the icy conditions, so I left before I found out how they managed to get that car out of the tree.
    Page 2 of 2 - This morning, two vehicles have been stuck in front of my home while countless drivers swerved and maneuvered to get past them like barricades on an obstacle course.
    As is the case with most snowfalls in Brigadoon Estates – a fancy name for a nice little community where neighbors actually care about each other – we've all been out shoveling driveways, clearing paths to mailboxes and “potty areas” for our pooches.
    Right now, I'm pooped and ready for the chili that has been bubbling away in the crockpot since early this morning.
    Be careful out there, take care of your pets, remember that wild birds need seed and water in conditions like this and enjoy the beauty that blankets our community from inside your home, and not your automobile.
    Would someone please pass the crackers?
    Bill Althaus is a sportswriter and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at bill.althaus@examiner.net or 816-350-6333.
     
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