Storm stories: Plows and berms
Here are snippets of conversations I had or heard going on last weekend while I was at a bar downtown.My husband doesn’t like to be reminded that he once was given a pair of silver moon boots. It was the first winter we lived here, but somehow the recollection comes up. My husband actually wore these boots until he realized that they didn’t keep his feet warm and that in the winter of 1981-82, they were already out of style. He bought his first pair of Sorels soon after.Another guy standing nearby who was about my husband’s age could relate, since he still skis in an old pair of ski boots. Apparently his college-age son pointed out to him that there’s a picture on the “history wall” at Bobo’s Mogul Mouse in Reno showing a skier wearing his dad’s yellow and blue, rear-entry ski boots.”There’s only a few feelings better than taking off your ski boots,” that had to have been uttered by this same guy.A couple declared, “Driving through town, we decided, if we could find a place to park, we’re going to OB’s.”From a 26-year resident: “Compared to Reno, we are fortunate. Their side streets are not well plowed at all.”Also, talking about her new snowplow driver this year: “Someone needed to teach him how to plow the cul-de-sac: No berms please.” With some verbal coaching and a little bribery in the way of food (a bag of cashews) and cold liquids (bottled water), she claims, “Our snow removal guys have been fabulous, amazing.”This is actually my latest story. I came home to find an icy berm blocking my driveway. As I got out of my truck thinking I would fetch a shovel and our snowblower, our plow driver pulls up and tells me, over the roar of his engine, that they are helping folks out today. I had just written a column about accepting the snow so I waved him off, trying to say, “I’ll take care of it, thanks anyway.” He ignored me, thank goodness. Maybe my poor hearing didn’t fully comprehend what favor he was offering me. The next thing I knew, he had backed up his big machine, made a few passes and instantly the berm was cleared. I was left standing there near my newly smashed metal mail box. “Thanks a lot,” I waved at him as he pulled away. Maybe that was a small price to pay.A town of Truckee snow removal employee tells me, “I’m going to work tomorrow, my twenty-first day in a row.””What about all the windows that are going to break from the giant icicles that hang off the eaves of your house and are now curling toward your windows,” someone asks me.A lone female tourist is sitting in the corner, waiting for someone to join her we surmise. She’s wearing what she probably believes is a great mountain look, a cowl neck sweater and a thin scarf wrapped around her shoulders and then up over her head like a connected headband. My friend remarks that she looks like Jacob Marley from “A Christmas Carol” all wrapped up in bandages. A local realtor sitting next to me says, “I would call that ‘What not to wear’ unless you want to look like a tourist.”Here was another story, I think shared by the town of Truckee employee. Apparently, a new homeowner on Skislope called the town hotline complaining that he couldn’t get out due to a 12-foot berm in his driveway. He claimed that this “problem” was not revealed to him when he closed his real estate deal in November. The town employee staffing the phones advised him to call a snow removal company, and suggested he could also call his realtor. When the county used to plow our roads, Skislope was reopened when the snow melted someone else commented.My friend sitting next to me talked about how she was hoping to get her neighbors to dig their cars out because they’re sitting in the middle of the road, but they’re too busy snowboarding. Also, they have chains on the wrong tires. Leaving, I headed over to my truck which I had parked at the bank, with the front bumper pushed into a snow bank. I backed up about four or five feet and felt the rear bumper hitting another snow bank. It took several maneuvers to get out.Ah, the aftermath of our storms. You’ve gotta love it!Katie Shaffer is a longtime Truckee resident.