Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

COLUMN: Storm People


When a severe winter storm hit recently, I didn't think it would stick around for nearly a week. I'm over the freezing cold, horrible roads, snow everywhere, crappy drivers and everything else that has to do with winter. For the first time I really understand snow birding and how all the local residents must really be enjoying the warmer temperatures while the rest of us adjust the pillows in our igloos.

While I own a 4-wheel drive vehicle, it has a problem with the battery, so we have had to battle the snow packed roads with our tiny little car. This has not been fun at all and not ideal, but it is what we had to deal with. I can't just wonder over to the car lot and pick whatever I want, I don't have that type of walking around money. Over the course of three days, we were stuck five times, sometimes a lot worse than others. Several of them were in Butte where I think they forgot there were other roads to plow besides Harrison and Montana.

On three occasions, people stopped and either helped or offered their assistance. On one occasion a man stopped to help, and he was over the top aggressive. I certainly appreciated his help, but it was weird to have someone doing something nice and yelling at you at the same time. I was afraid at one point he was going to hit me and then proceed to get the car out of its tricky predicament.

The times the little matchbox car was stuck the worse was where I witnessed the other type of people you will see in a winter storm. We were stuck ten feet from our driveway and a truck just sat there with the driver watching as I did my best to push the car out. They didn't offer help, just sat in the truck giving me a dirty look. I certainly wasn't thrilled about being stuck, but it's not like I did it on purpose.

Another time a younger couple passed by in a truck and slowed down to about two miles an hour and just stared at us. It was frustrating because an extra set of hands could have really helped.

At this point, I decided there are two types of people in a storm. Those willing to give a helping hand with a stuck vehicle or street or sidewalk that needs plowed, and the people who will just drive by.


I'm glad I'm not a member of the latter. If I see somebody that needs help, I'm going to do what I can. It is just the right thing to do. It can be a pain in the rump to push someone who is stuck when the temperatures are so slow that frostbite happens after 11 seconds, but the world is a much better place when people lend a helping hand.

There are also two types of drivers in a bad winter storm. The ones who will drive appropriately for the conditions and idiots.

I'm also glad I'm not a member of the latter. There would be a lot less accidents if people just slowed down.

I'm sure in a few weeks the temperatures will start to warm up and all of the snow will melt. I've never really hated winter, but the past few weeks is starting to change my attitude and do so in a hurry. Until then I hopefully will have the 4x4 fixed and won't have to worry about getting stuck.

But at least I can rest my head in my igloo knowing I'd help someone out and don't drive like an idiot.


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