BOSTON (CBS) – It comes in many forms – studs for a backyard porch, funding to keep that college graduate of yours – the one now living permanently in your basement – afloat, and those ingenious nylons that women of a certain generation and body type simply adore wearing. Allow me to steal a few moments of your precious time to offer another example of support, one that should bring a smile.
We had quite a snow event of course last weekend. Dubbed ‘Nemo’ by the Weather Channel outfit, the blustery blizzard dumped more than two feet of windswept snow on most of the region. Having assumed it to be an acronym, I spent more time than necessary trying to decipher the Nemo code. “New England Media Opportunity” and “Now Everyone, Move to Orlando!” were my frontrunners. How relieved I was to discover Nemo to be nothing more than the name of a Pixar-generated fish. Apologies are in order to the captain of the Nautilus.
In any event, the storm generated a lot of nastiness and ominous declarations to STAY OFF THE ROAD OR ELSE! Imagine being the poor wretch tossed in a Massachusetts correctional institution for a full year for not heeding the governor’s driving ban? “Hey *$%#^#, what the &*#$%@ you in for…murder, car jacking, armed robbery? Answer me you %$*(@#!” “Eh, nope sir, I was late leaving CVS after picking up baby formula and kinda lost track of time. (Insert very nervous laughter). Can you believe my luck?” (More nervous laughter)
You know the rest of the story of the weekend because you lived it. As did I broadcasting ten hours on the air talking to dozens of callers who found themselves without power or any open Dunkin’ Donuts establishment. Yes, we had ourselves a pretty impressive shutdown.
But through it all – the ferocious tides, frigid temperatures, biting winds and obnoxious TV STORM OF THE CENTURY graphics, there were faith restoring moments. Stories of people stepping up to do the decent thing while supporting others in need. Kudos to the plow drivers, police, fire, EMT and emergency personnel, the power company crews and hospital teams, the lonely gas station attendants and convenience store owners who stayed at their posts. Most people were lucky enough to be home or in hotels, snug cozy and out of danger. Thanks to those who worked their shifts and earned their pay.
Here’s one quick story of support that I wanted to let you know about. I appreciate my producer and friend Casey O’Donnell who fields calls for my show and runs the tightest board in talk radio. Shortly before dawn, he put a call from a sweet little lady in Auburn who identified herself as disabled. She was unable to reach the fellow who normally plowed her driveway. Understandable given the wild conditions out there. She expressed frustration and fear over this and who could blame her? Still the caller was pleasant and accepting of the situation unlike a few callers who were harshly critical that during the height of the massive storm they didn’t plow their streets yet. My caller remained poised and collected insisting that she was willing to pay whatever it might cost to remove the snow later that morning. It was obvious that just connecting with us on the air helped her rest easier. Conversation with another, even a stranger on the radio, so often helps to dial down the stress. As she and I were about to wrap up the call, my producer asked me through our in-studio intercom to have the lady remain on hold. Casey lives near Auburn and told me he would work on finding a way to help this woman out.
I promptly put her on hold and went about my business, taking dozens more calls before ending the show to finally head out into the tundra for the long slow trek home. It took me a while but I made it. And the pillow never felt as welcoming.
I slept about six hours and awoke to find a text message that had been sent several hours earlier. It was from Casey informing me that he had made several calls from the station and came up with a solution for the caller. A friend of a friend who had been plowing non-stop since the snow began heard about the lady’s needs and took action. The listener’s driveway was cleared soon after sunrise. The kindhearted gentleman who performed the service refused to take the money she offered. Nothing like a selfless act of kindness to add a bit of warmth to an otherwise frigid morning. I don’t yet know the name for our knight with the shining snow plow. But I’m certain he felt satisfied in helping her and most likely makes this kind of a thing a habit.
During rough times who among us doesn’t need a boost? And when challenges occur, those who bring help and comfort remind us about the stuff between people that really matters.
So to Casey, his network of caring friends, and the great numbers of you who step up regularly to help out, I salute you. As does one lovely little lady in Auburn who appreciates the support.