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By Lacey Gardner

Wiser’s Wramblings-Blowin but not Snowin…Much

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Storm memories, scanner chatter, Bonnies and the Bills!!

By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

As I awoke this morning my first task even before getting out of bed was to figure out which day of the week it was. Being retired; “there are no more Monday mornings.” Many times, but now especially following the double weekend Holidays of Christmas and New Years, it is hard to remember or even figure out, just what day of the week it is. Finally figuring it out, as I started my Thursday morning routine fixing my coffee and planning in my head what I would write about in this week’s Wramblings, once again I had no main theme in mind. What did cross my mind though was the havoc that the recent windstorm wreaked, at least as far as was reported and gleaned from listening to the scanner’s nearly non-stop chatter over the past two days.

As I tried to compare it to past weather related newsworthy, or “life affecting” weather events, my first recollection was of the flood of ’72. Next in mind came a snowstorm that affected my life in the mid 60’s. Given those recollections, I started a “Google Search,” first starting with the winter storm of ’77, that came to my mind, as its cold was an opposite of this past week’s event with a fairly warm weather-related activity. I relate “windstorms,” whether scientifically correct or not, to conditions that exist when our warm weather rain evaporation puts warm air into the atmosphere and a cold front comes sweeping in to get it out of here. Google led me to more recently remembered winter storms in the 60’s and more frequently occurring 70’s.

Here are a few highlights or low lights of a few of those that affected me.

Probably the most noteworthy of those was the winter storm in early 1966 that hit the entire east coast, and which even spread down through the Virginia’s. The storm spanned from Jan 27th to the 31st. I had come home on leave from the Navy and had started back south. I forged ahead reaching Rte. 83 in Pennsylvania. After crossing over what seemed to be pretty rough road (it wasn’t), all of a sudden, the oncoming north bound car lights were in my lane as I was headed Southward. Whoops, I had crossed over the median into the opposite lane. I headed back North and found a motel where I spent the rest of the night. Early the next day I headed back North and went home to Nile, NY. I was now due to be LOA (Late on Arrival) for my duty station, so I called in and reported my dilemma. When I finally got back to base, I was in trouble. That was a story I may report and expand on in a future Wrambling.

The Flood of ’72 is the next monumental weather-related, life affecting event that we were a part of, and which brings back memories more vividly. We were living in a rented apartment on Grover Street in Wellsville and the only indication that we had of the flood was the water level covering the heater under the floor of our ground level portion of that house.

The water level was just beneath the floor. Our close friends, and the elders of the oft mentioned Family of Three, were the Geyer’s, who lived much closer to the Genessee River over near or on East State Street in Wellsville in the vicinity of what is now Wellsville offices of Walker Business and Staffing Services Inc.

We watched from their house as much debris like furniture and picnic tables flowed by in the flood waters of Dyke’s Creek and the “mighty” Genesee River. They accompanied us back to our house where we spent the night.

The next major storm that affected me was the Winter storm of 1977 that wasn’t so much related to the snow depth as it was the extreme cold coupled with blowing, drifting, snow. I was headed to the Buffalo area with a scheduled meeting of some sort on behalf of the Air Preheater Company (APCo), my employer at the time. I don’t recall whether we had the meeting or any details beyond the storm other than the snow piles and drifts in that area.

There have been other weather events more recently but nothing monumental that immediately comes to mind. Of course, as far as memories or recollection goes, a storm’s impact or effect is pretty much related to how it personally affects you.

I recently had a conversation with a person from a local organization in which I participate, and with whom I interact. When discussing my involvement with the Wellsville Sun I stated that “I am not a reporter, I am a writer.” By way of further explanation, I expressed that my writings are “about” events and my involvement in them, and not typically an “event announcement,” unless it’s related to my participation. That’s what I do, and that’s how I want to keep it. When I do wander from my “storytelling,” it is most likely “borderline Op-Ed.” As I used that term, I questioned its use, so I “googled” it to see just how the “Ed” part was explained.

Once again, I forced myself, or stumbled into learning something, that being where the term came from and/or what it meant. The formal explanation is:

“Op-eds. An op-ed (abbreviated from “opposite the editorial page”) is an opinion piece that appears on a page in the newspaper dedicated solely to them, often written by a subject-matter expert, a person with a unique perspective on an issue, or a regular columnist employed by the paper.”

What I mean by using that term and taking “poetic license” is that my writings are an opinion editorialization of a topic. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it 😎!

The most recent “Scanner Chatter,” at least until our weather settled today, has involved the weather/storm related efforts and activities in our area. Once again, I am reminded of just how thankful we should be that we have such a huge presence of emergency responders, nearly all of whom are volunteers. I don’t think that there was a town or municipality that was not affected by the storms effect. Here in Scio, NY we escaped any major calamities, and unlike many, we here on the Back River Road didn’t experience any delays or outages of any services. To those emergency responders, volunteer fire fighters, and even those who were paid associates of responding entities THANK YOU!!❣️❣️ 💕.

Related to other weather incidents; the Genesee Valley Chorus had to postpone their first 2024 rehearsal and re-schedule it for 6 PM Tuesday, January 16th at the Grace United Church in Wellsville, NY. The “hills will soon be alive with the sounds of music.” Just a week later.

The older (much) version of one of our Kindle Fire devices up and died the other day. The user of said device had to start using a newer model purchased several months ago. The learning curve of such devices has steepened exponentially and has caused much frustration for a person not intimately involved with the more recent operating requirements of such electronic devices as they interface with the current media world. Fun? Not-so-much!

One of the challenges dealt with having to change usernames, passwords etc. With a “reset” of the device it was nearly as if starting anew, but with a history base that made it nearly impossible to do. “Patience is a virtue” but only if it can keep you from being a patient.

On the topic of newer media devices, my newly acquired HP Printer brings its own challenges, and which, sent me to the archives trying to retrieve said passwords, usernames, device names and serial numbers to make the new device visible to the old(er) computer. One common activity that was involved brought a smile to my face. While attempting to send an item to the printer, remotely from the laptop, of which I am now typing this, resulted in a delay as I listened to the pages requested being printed. Back story: I am in a room adjacent to the computer room and can hear the printer doing its work…when it is. After a significant delay in the noise of the printing, I went into the room where the printer was and there on the printer’s small data screen was a note that said: “Printer paused waiting for previous page to dry.” A message that finally made sense.

I watch very little TV. The only programming that I watch, with a small exception to a visit to CNN or MSNBC when a hot topic is live, is the broadcasts of the St. Bonaventure-Bonnies men’s basketball games, or the Buffalo Bills football games. The Bonnies didn’t fare too well over the weekend, but the Bills certainly did as they won a hard-fought game versus the Miami Dolphins to fight their way into the NFL Playoffs. The Bills, several weeks ago had stumbled on their way to a 6 Win-6 Loss record and were considered out of playoff contention. The stakes, for the Bills were now at a “winner take all” level, and by beating the Dolphins in the last official game of the entire NFL season, the Bills literally “leap-frogged” over the Dolphins winning the conference title for the 4th consecutive year and earned a 2nd place seeding in the NFL play-offs.

I have been a dedicated fan of those two teams since the Bills beginnings in the early 60’s and the Bonnies exposure through the Olean Times Herald at about the same time.

The Bills quarterback Josh Allen evokes heights of joy and excitement but often the depression and consternation of doom.  From day one I have noticed and been concerned with his accuracy on some, typically longer, passing plays. Other times you watch in awe as he threads a bullet pass between two defenders to his waiting receiver…who sometimes actually catches or hangs onto the ball.

Go Bills! Go Bonnies!

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