Jim Hicks: Starting A Conversation When It’s Below Zero . . .

in Column/Jim Hicks

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By Jim Hicks, columnist

Have you ever noticed when the weather makes a big change as it did in the first part of this week . . . everyone greets each other with some kind of what we call a “weather comment”
Most common has been things like . . .

“It sure is cold” — as if we hadn’t noticed.

“Now we know Global Warming is a hoax” — from the scientist who needs only one test to prove a theory.

“Man it’s cold enough to freeze the ________________” – And this one has wide variety of ideas (most we can’t print here).’

The best weather comment we heard this week came from James Iberlin after we actually got some wet snow recently. James said, “It might not soak into the frozen ground, but it will soak into the dust on top.”

Locals are also talking about basketball and how the Wyoming Cowboys have crawled out of the cellar to the top of the mountain this year. 

We’ve talked to a few who have attended home games at Laramie and they say the experience is a lot of fun.  Go Pokes!

The mild weather before this latest cold snap has made it possible for many people to get out and walk to promote their good health and keep the family dog from getting too fat.

Buffalo has an amazing walking trail system. Much of it takes advantage of Clear Creek where the scenery is terrific, wild life abounds and there is considerable shade on hot summer days.

The late Emil Hecht was Mayor of Buffalo when some of the first walking paths were being developed.

Emil was a man of action and someone suggested a trail along the creek west of the City Park.  Emil had some experience operating heavy equipment so he fired up the city’s new road grader and started blazing the new pathway.

According to employees of the city at that time, they had to use a cutting torch to get “a quarter mile of fence wire” that was wrapped around the axels of the grader.

But the results were wonderful and that stretch of trail is probably the most used in the entire system.

One section of the trail near the west end has been named after Bill Mentock, a tireless volunteer who helped develop that part of the system.

Bill is in his 80’s and still enjoys the trails whenever he can. He keeps track of how far he walks, and has averaged close to 1,000 miles a year. 

“I’ve walked about 12,000 miles on the trails since I first started.”

 That‘s like hiking from New York to Los Angeles . . . four times!

Finally this week we will pass a few more comments and observations from the Older and Wiser – Later in the Morning coffee group.

— What makes me really happy is not setting the alarm clock anymore.

— I got a new set of teeth when I was about six.  I went to the dentist last week and now I wish I could do that again

— I was trying to help my grandson with a math problem and said something about having 60 cantaloupe and 40 water melons . . . and he said “what the hell is wrong with you grandpa?”

— I save business cards so if I hit another car in the grocery store parking lot and anyone is watching . . . I can stick one of them under a windshield wiper and get away.

— I wish, when I put in my password, the computer would say “close enough.”

— Does anyone else have a plastic bag full of plastic bags, or is it just me?

— And . . . I never ask my wife “what’s for dinner” while she’s shoveling the front walk.

We hope you all are feeling good, can pay your bills and have a chance to help a neighbor out this week.

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