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.