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“All Syracuse Public Schools are… Closed Due to Snow.”

“Holy holiday on ice, Batman,” exclaimed 9-year old David Hardiman, upon hearing the jolliest words of the holiday season. It was 6:30 in the morning and I’d waited breathlessly in paralytic anticipation next to the radio for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably about the time it takes for a snowflake to fall lazily to earth. This unexpected Snow Day electrified my body with ripples of sheer joy, causing me to shimmy down the hallway in a funky celebratory gyration – like the way Steph Curry does after swishing a spectacular trey.

 

Ode to Joy for this Snow Day – Well at Least Owed to Somebody I Suppose

That’s no day. I mean, that Snow Day!

For my snow day good fortune I felt a great debt of gratitude to somebody or something. This bonus day, this meteorological windfall, this unexpected gift of the Magi was way better than frankincense, myrrh or gold. It was the pinnacle of pre-pubescent happiness. And when I think of the small world I inhabited in the early 1970’s, I’m surprised I even fit into it. But fit I did, and some experiences were tailor made for me. Case in point: a sweet and dearly unearned school “snow day” – or as we called them back in the days of the Ice Capades, a “Holiday on Ice.”

 

When those cheery words “All Syracuse public schools are closed” were broadcast over the airwaves from on high, all public school pupils were elated, and all the pupils’ pupils were dilated. This eye-opening experience allowed us to see our way clear to a sensuous morning of deep, cozy hibernation nestled in our beds, followed by a strenuous afternoon of deep, snowy celebration sledding with our friends.

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As it was, we were already knee-deep in juvenile joy because the brawny forces of nature had defeated the bureaucratic powers of mandatory school attendance. Truant officers would have to find someone else to hassle today, because when afternoon came we’d be chest deep in snow drifts – and that’s no drift. I mean, and that snow drift was huge.

 

In my little 9-year-old way I realized that when mounds of the white stuff triggered a school closing, it was a kind of “white privilege” that everyone could share in equally. Snow: the equal opportunity precipitate.

 

My early Christmas present was given me by WNDR’s “Dandy” Dan Leonard – 1260 AM on your radio dial. His unctuous radio inflections are imprinted on me like a tattoo I can’t remove. The larger point however, was that there’d be no school on this fiercely-snowing, traffic-snarling Tuesday in the arctic tundra masquerading as the city of Syracuse, NY, and I couldn’t have been any happier if Marcia Brady had asked me to a sleepover. Read the rest of this entry »