This is how cold it was the other day here in Chicago. When I went out for my morning walk, I didn't wear my sunglasses, even though it was very bright, because after about three minutes, metal frames will freeze up and become brutal on your face.
It wasn't overly bitter out, only about 12 degrees, but that's enough for the metal. Trust me. Overall, though, the weather has been okay. Nippy, and we did have about four inches of snow a couple days ago. And then three more yesterday.
Okay, that's not three inches. Or even seven. That's from a couple years ago when they had 23 inches of snow. It was the third biggest snowfall in recorded Chicago history. (I was here for #1, a 26-inch drop, what is still referred to as "The Big Snow." My high school had never closed in over 60 years for a snow day. We closed for The Big Snow.)
All this reminds me of dinner the other night. My dad and I were joined in by a very nice friend of his here, a guy who talks about how great New York City is as much as I do Chicago. Maybe even more, if that's possible. It's not that he loves New York, but it's simply The Best in Everything to him. A wonderful, sharp, funny, entertaining, old fellow. A really good guy. Anyway, the topic of the recent snow came up, and he mentioned that since he'd moved here, where his kids now live, he didn't think Chicago got as much snow as New York did. Now, mind you, everything I've ever read has said that that's not even close to true. (I checked later. New York's annual snowfall is 25 inches, Chicago's is 41.) But not having a meteorological guide handy, and enjoying my entree, I let it slide.
I did quip, however, "They did get a 23-inch snow here a couple years ago, you remember.." and he immediately replied, "Oh, we got that all the time in New York." I admit it, I couldn't help myself and let out an involuntary laugh. It was too funny. "Oh, come on," I smiled, "You didn't get 23 inches of snow 'all the time'." Even he acknowledged that that wasn't likely the case. "No, not all the the time," he admitted.
But he added, "We did get it a lot" -- which is impressive for a city with an annual snowfall of 25 inches...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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