Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow musings... or '... same old song again'

It's Saturday; it's snowing; so what's new?

Anyone remember the good old days when a good solid snowstorm meant you had to go out and whisk off a couple inches of snow from the car before you could drive off?  The big question was whether you really took the time to clean off the roof as well.

Why does this map again have us in the middle of yet another storm.  This one to arrive barely after the current one ends.  If the current one ever ends.  Maybe it's all one big storm?  or is that a metaphysical question?

This all has given me a great appreciation for my grandfather who passed away before I was born.  He had he emigrated here from the hills of Crete at age18 just about a century ago to settle in Detroit.  He was drafted soon after he arrived to serve with the Michigan National Guard during World War I.  What did the Michigan National Guard do during WWI?  One of the more forgotten operations of the war was in Northern Russia where British and American expeditionary forces were sent to support anti-Bolshevik forces.  You can see the logic that existed somewhere:  The need was for troops who knew something of the cold. Michigan seemed to fit the bill for troops who would not need any special cold weather training. The American military at the time probably had little cold weather training to offer in any case.  In today's military vernacular it would probably be classified as a GOBI. The whole thing would be called the Polar Bear Expedition and the 339th Infantry Regiment and associated units of the Michigan National Guard would themselves come to be known as the polar bears.

The poor fellow, raised in the temperate olive fields of a Mediterranean island, was probably not well equipped to survive a winter in the environs of Archangel, located just below the Arctic Circle and one of the colder habitable places on Earth.  It all must have been about as close to his vision of hell as he could have imagined. and none of it could have been in the plan when he arrived at Ellis Island.

So I figure I won't complain about the snow any more.


Anonymous Vannevar said...

GOBI= General Officer's Bright Idea? Nice.

Saturday, February 27, 2010 11:41:00 PM  

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