Scenes from the snow

Friday, December 1, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:22 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Bill Hamby used a screwdriver to open his car Thursday morning. Standing at the cash register at Gerbes buying beer, Hamby described his icy feat.

“I should have been out there half an hour earlier,” he said. Once he got out the tool all it took was “getting it in there and forcing it open.”

High school students Alex Burris, Jaymee Moses, Amber Classens and Whitney Grathwohl decided to spend their day off Thursday at the mall. Classens didn’t find out about his school’s closure until after she had showered. But the girls were by no means disappointed; they planned a sleepover for Thursday night and sledding for today even before the school made any decision.

Across the mall, another group of friends were shopping. Elementary school teacher Tessa Von Behren texted her friends and fellow teachers Erin Marbaker, Christina Habjan and Erin Rose when she discovered school was canceled. They made it to the mall by about 10:30.

“We got to sleep in,” Rose said.

In the parking lot outside of Complete Custom Automotive on Stadium Boulevard, Vitali Vougalter almost broke his ice-scraper trying to clear a quarter-inch thick ice sheet from his rear window. But Vougalter is not worried; he moved from Canada in August and so he is familiar with cold, wintry weather.

Kerri Payne’s husband got up at 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning to go to work for his towing company. He will probably have a busy couple of days.

“I probably won’t see him until Saturday,” she said.

Gail Garey had two jugs of milk in her shopping cart just so she wouldn’t have to worry about leaving her home. While Garey wanted to make sure she had the basics, the weather doesn’t scare her.

“It gives you the opportunity to tuck in and read a book,” she said.

Wrapped up in a khaki jacket and a red plaid scarf, Lauretta Enochs finished a two-mile walk on the M.K.T. Trail. She does the walk from her work at Fifth Street and Broadway to the second bridge almost every day and she didn’t let the wintery mix stop her Thursday.

“Rain is what deters me,” she said, “not cold.” She added that she would probably walk today provided the snow wasn’t “too deep.”

The cold weather is good news for Andrea Backhoff, a sales associate in Alpine Shop at 1102 E. Broadway, which began its winter gear sale a week ago. “Today is better than the last whole week,” Backhoff said. In about three hours the store sold 15 pairs of gloves. Backhoff expected an even more demonstrable increase in sales in the coming days as “a lot of people are coming to buy clothes.”

Steve Barrett, a visiting scholar in the College of Education in MU, has other concerns. “My real concern is for homeless people,” he said. For himself, bad weather just brings small inconvenience, but for others, like those who are homeless and who don’t have heating at home, the cold and snow can be life threatening, he said.

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