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Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Pressed On - The Medic of La Mancha's account of the Blizzard Of 2010

by Steven P. Velasquez
Feb 13, 2014

Originally outlined (but not finished) in January 2011, I never actually put the finishing touches on this little gem. Today I'm sitting, quietly composing its' final draft, in the Yellow Rose Diner in Keyport, NJ, as we get clobbered with yet another of the endless snowstorms of 2014. I reached back into my archives and thought you might appreciate another of the Medic of La Mancha's not-so heroic tales.

A decade has passed since I last heard so many friends and co-workers speak with such granular detail about somewhere they were, something they saw -- or something they endured.  Two 110-story office towers had collapsed in lower Manhattan after being struck by fuel laden jet-liners in a terrorist attack.  Another plane flew directly into the Pentagon and a fourth dove into a field in Shanksville, PA after a valiant struggle between unarmed passengers and the blood-thirsty animals aboard. America, and freedom-loving people everywhere, were dealt a crippling blow that brought society to a standstill and galvanized a people united – albeit temporarily. 

"Never Forget September 11, 2001"
An "Interfaith Memorial" was held in Sayreville, NJ's

Waterfront Park just days after the terrorist attacks

Though far less dramatic by comparison, the end of December 2010 brought 18 to 32 inches of frozen precipitation followed by 60+ mph wind gusts to the Northeast U.S.  Initial reports said we might see a little, but probably more out toward eastern Long Island.  We brushed it off as a remote possibility as the forecasters seemed ambivalent about it, so why cause a public stir?  Within hours, the forecasts had become dire.   We were suddenly advised that a nor’easter was headed our way and packing a punch.  

Sunday afternoon, I spent the day preparing my plow truck, blower and hand-tools to go recoup at least some of two-thousand plus dollars I had just sunk into the rear end repairs to my truck.  Not to mention the five-hundred dollar TV repair, the Christmas expenses and my past-due school tuition.  This storm, I thought, should put me in much better financial circumstances than I was about to end 2010 with – I thought.

Facebook again served as a powerful advertising tool as I broadcast to friends and followers that I was available for hire to rid them of their snow-induced woes.  I went out Sunday afternoon and began making my first passes during the first 2"- 4” of snowfall.  My truck and machinery were performing well and as the snow continued to pile up, so did my appetite for the possible windfall profit I was in position to earn.  

I swung by the house to clear out some parking spots for my family and neighbors which surely would earn me my “most favorite neighbor” status that I enjoyed with each snowfall.  One of my supervisors from work called and asked if I would travel down to his mother’s house near Long Branch to help her. “Of course” I replied  “No problem.”  I figured I’d take care of her property then a few of her neighbors would see me and ask (or beg) me to do theirs.  It was about to be a great night!