Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Snowy Atlanta


Patty Smith Hall here, talking about my hometown of Atlanta's recent snow. I’m sure by now you’ve probably seen all the pictures of stranded cars on Interstate 75 or of the children stranded at their schools on the national newscast. Or maybe heard a crack or two about Southerners’ lack of driving skills in increment weather. But today I want to focus on the story that wasn’t covered--the everyday people who went out of their way, even put themselves at risk to help make a bad situation better.

I think there’s no question that folks in the south are some of the nicest folks you can meet, but a crisis of any kind tend to bring out the absolute best in them. Like my friend, Kathy. She’s a teacher at one of the local high schools who got stranded along with some of her students last Tuesday night. But instead of complaining about her lot or pointing fingers of blame, Kathy in her usual sweet style took to Facebook, posting pictures around school so that parents would know that their children were okay.

What about Rosemarie? This friend from high school opened her home to anyone stranded along the highway who needed a warm safe place to bunk down for the night. My daughter’s friend, Dania carried fire wood for a tired person and helped push cars to safety while walking home from work. And these are just a few instances I know of personally. Numerous people who lived along the interstate loaded up their children’s wagons with food and water, and walked alongside cars, checking on their occupants and offering help. Those who had four wheel drives offered rides to people who’d gotten stuck, even if it took them out of their way. 


Yes, Atlanta shut down for two inches of snow and ice, and in the coming days, much will be made as to how our officials handled themselves so poorly. At least for me, the people of our city responded beautifully. 






Patty Smith Hall has been making up stories to keep herself occupied since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. Now she’s thrilled to share her love of history and storytelling with everyone, including her husband of thirty years, Danny; her beautiful and talented daughters, Jennifer and Carly, and her future son-in-law, Dan. Hearts Rekindled is her February, 2014 release. 



11 comments:

  1. Thats cool Patty how people show the brighter side. If we got snow here first we would all run outside and stare in amazement maybe wonder what it is. Then I think it would shut everything down cos no one here knows how to drive in snow!
    they say it snowed here once last century and that was only a tiny amount.

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  2. Hey Jenny! Sometimes, I think people forget the good side of a crisis, when folks show their true colors. Snow is rare for us too--generally we get ice so driving in that is impossible!

    Hope you're feeling better!

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  3. Definitely lots of stories of Good Samaritans!

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  4. Sending my thanks to John who, at 9 PM, drove my daughter to pick up her two little ones at school. The roads were ice and had closed at noon. My daughter had tried to get to them but couldn't get through. John drove her over the ice, sometimes inching through rows of abandoned cars. The trip took 1 1/2 hours, but they made it to the school and then home safely with the children.

    At the time, my son-in-law was inching his way home from Atlanta. He left his office at 1:15 PM and arrived home at 11:15 PM after having to walk the last five miles due to closed roads.

    The children's bus driver had inched her way to the school only to be told the roads were too slick and the hills too dangerous to haul the little ones home. She let the children call home so moms and dads would know they were okay.

    Nigel, a neighbor with a Jeep, picked up stranded motorists, moms, dads, kids and drove them home.

    The guys in the local sheriff's office, after working all day, arrived at the school at midnight and hauled the children still stranded. The last child made it home at 4:30 AM.

    Good people making a difference. It was a difficult time, but wonderful people reached out to those in need.

    Thanks for a great post, Patty! As I recall, you and hubby helped a young woman get home who had tried to walk too many miles in the cold.

    God bless all the good Samaritans!

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  5. Wonderful stories. I know in Dallas/Ft. Wort area when they had the snow and ice storm, one of the churches close the the freeway fixed food and drink and took it to the drivers. It is amazing how the heart of people is moved.

    And, you can't drive on ice no matter where you grew up.

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  6. Leann, I heard of a woman who was stuck near her church so she went there to ride out the storm. By the time the evening was over, there was 70 people there, more than the church's usual attendance--and she'd fed each one from their kitchen. None of them had ever attended that church but came back the next Sunday with several saying that they never realized how nice people in the church could be. Sad in a way, but thank the Lord, this lady reached out to them in her own hour of need.

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  7. What wonderful stories! Thank you Patty and Debby for sharing what we seldom hear reported on the news. It's so uplifting. I'm glad your loved ones are safe and sound.

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  8. Patty I think thats one thing we Aussies do well in a Crisis they mostly pull together and help each other. In the bushfires some are still helping protect others property when they know they have lost everything. The same in floods etc. Its something I am proud off. (we call it mateship). There are always a few bad eggs but a crisis seems to bring people together.

    You know books could be written from some of these stories.

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  9. Great suggestion, Jenny! I'll have to remember that the next time I'm plotting out a new book!

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  10. Wow, the stories gave me shivers. There's good everywhere.

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  11. Thank you, Patty - - well-said!
    My middle daughter and son-in-law are both teachers on the north side of Atlanta, and were among the countless who had to leave cars and walk for miles. But my daughter said folks were great (including my son-in-law, who helped push a dozen cars). It's heartwarming to see so many people reaching out to help others. ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

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