Blame it on me

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 16, 2007

Well, I’ve apparently gone and done it.

It appears I’ve buried upstate New York, particularly the Oswego area, with snow. And not just any snow but my old childhood friend lake effect snow.

I guess it was the column I wrote a couple weeks ago about my memories of snow and subsequently created some kind of tulpa, a thought projection that dumped foot after foot of snow onto Oswego, NY.

Oswego just happens to be the town where I went to college, about 45 minutes away from Sodus, the town where I grew up.

Believe it or not Sodus doesn’t have as much snow on the ground as Oswego, but my mom will happily tell you it got its share.

If you haven’t seen the images on television of the snow filled city of Oswego crammed in between segments of Anna Nicole Smith’s death and war torn Iraq, then you’ve missed quite a sight.

People shoveling out their cars, driveways, sidewalks and even roofs, to prevent them from collapsing.

Over the last 11 days the area has been hit by lake effect snow and even a blizzard, bringing Oswego County’s snow amount totals almost to 100 inches.

The town of Mexico, which got the worst of the snow, isn’t looking quite as warm as its namesake now days. The snow level in Mexico has reportedly reached 11 feet.

The National Guard has been called in to clear snow packed roads.

All of the news coverage on the snow has brought tourists to the area who want to see it for themselves, driving around town gawking as if it were any other normal tourist attraction.

With the town bogged down in snow, some Oswego citizens have no choice but to sit in their houses and treat the snow like an export and sell it on EBay.

No offense to them, but if I had 11 feet sitting in my yard, I would be giving it away for free.

Now a lot of forecasters are saying that this isn’t unusual for the area and I half agree with them.

Oswego is no stranger to lake effect and all snow storms of the kind; after all the unfortunate town sits on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. It may as well have a red and white target sign painted on it.

It’s not uncommon for snow amounts in Oswego to reach four or five feet after a good dump of lake effect.

But nine to 11 feet?

That may be normal for the North Pole, but not for Oswego.

And in case you don’t think dealing with tons of snow is fun, try being an Oswego State student for one day.

The campus lays on the shoreline of the lake and as it is known for its lake effect snow. Oswego is known for its gale force winds.

Wind that comes off the lake can reach upwards of 20 to 40 mph.

Now mix that fact with a ton of snow and you have a mess.

Imagine walking to class at 8 a.m. having to scale mountainous snow drifts.

When you walk in no one cares that you’re shaking off snow, massaging your hypothermic hands and trying to tame your unruly hair.

Not just because it’s eight in the morning on a college campus, but because they look just as worse.

Trying to walk on a freshly plowed sidewalk has its perks too. Usually the plow doesn’t pick up all the snow, leaving a good inch of snow to walk on. This is usually done on the roads also to give traction to vehicles.

But for students walking on the sidewalks when it’s in that condition is the equivalency of walking in sand. I can assure you most of the graduates from Oswego State have nice calves because of a few Oswego snow storms.

Now that I’ve moved south many of my friends in Oswego think that I’ve forgotten those cold Oswego days.

The other day I got an email from a friend who’s still in college. In it he brought up how much snow the area had suffered and then offered a question.

“Do you even remember what snow looks like?” he wrote.

Yes, Anthony I do still remember what snow looks like and if I forget all I have to do is turn on the television.