“Now I’ve seen everything,” said the woman as a group of us stood staring out the lobby window of Sagebrush Theatre, avoiding the inevitable.
“I just saw somebody crawling on their hands and knees to get to their car.”
That was Saturday night at the symphony. The rain started coming down just before the Magic In Vienna concert got underway, and it wasn’t easy getting to the theatre. It was even tougher getting out.
Every inch of roadway and sidewalk was solid ice. Some tried to find traction by driving with two wheels on the sidewalk and two on the street, but it didn’t do much good. Others spent a good long time trying to scrape enough ice off their windshields to make a porthole to see out of.
All in all, there was nothing magical about Mother Nature’s temper tantrum. Now to the point: at the end of the first intermission, a nice young fellow stepped up to the microphone and explained that he was a member of the crew, and that he and other crew members were working with City of Kamloops crew to salt and scrape things down outside as best they could so we would stand half a chance of making it to our cars without breaking something.
He received a hearty round of applause.
The City quite often takes a cuff backside the head for its allegedly less than impressive work keeping the roads in good passable shape during winter weather.
I, for one, am a staunch admirer, rather than a detractor, of their efforts.
I have here yet another letter from a reader who firmly believes Kamloops residents are getting “the short end of the shovel.” As is often the case, the complaint centres on the deposit of snow on curbs and so on, and the opinion that City snow-clearing practices in general make little sense.
I heard from another reader during the Christmas season who complained about getting a warning from the City for shovelling snow from his driveway onto the street.
It was, he said, “a frivolous amount of snow” that would not impede traffic.
While I’m not a particular fan of over-zealous bylaws officers — and over-zealous legislators for that matter — maybe some of these complainers should live at my house for awhile (please, don’t take that as a serious invitation).
Those who reside outside City boundaries and commute to town each day love the City of Kamloops work crews. Crossing the boundary from regional district into Kamloops is like exiting the Ice Kingdom to the Land of Oz or, perhaps, the Magic of Vienna.
City crews set an ambitious standard for their main thoroughfares, one they hit with almost eery ability — bare pavement. Compare this to us poor country cousins who make do with a bit of sanding and an occasional plow when contractors are able.
One does not live outside town without a four-wheel drive vehicle. Which certainly makes exiting a symphony concert on an icy evening easier, but, all in all, country folk would kill for snow-clearing as good as city folk get.
And don’t even get me started on the yo-yos who push snow onto the road from one side right across to the other with their cute little yard tractors. The City is beefing up enforcement against such dangerous and ill-considered habits, and, I say to City Hall, go for it.
Just try negotiating your way over one of those barriers after it turns to ice. They’re a serious hazard and just plain rude.
So, to City crews from one who paid City taxes for many years and probably didn’t appreciate you enough then, thanks for a great job. And thanks for that special effort after Saturday night’s ice storm.