Opinion: Walking through the winter wallop


“Weather happens.” It’s an age-old expression that has been emanating from newsrooms for as long as either of us can remember. Still, what happened to all of us last week was kind of otherworldly. It had been some time since these parts experienced anything like the wallop of ultra-frigid air that followed the foot of snow. It was the unrelenting (for a time, anyway) cold blast that had us drop our cavalier attitude and start to wonder just how safe the community was. As it turned out, we all escaped mostly unscathed. But along the way, our editors – working from their kitchen tables or elsewhere at home – went into overdrive with online and social-media postings. We actually closed our office the day after the storm, a first. We weren’t about to put our associates at risk. It wasn’t a noble gesture, just the correct thing to do. That was Monday. Then came Monday night, and we almost lost our chicken-noodle soup when we watched Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard on the idiot box, telling local businesses to stay closed on Tuesday. He wanted more time to plow again. Understandable, but by that time roads were passable. We noticed businesses in our midst opened as soon as possible. Snow or not, commerce is their life’s blood. So, what of Ballard’s request? It’s possible he cost Indy’s businesses combined millions that second day, and it didn’t have to happen. While not exactly heroic, we had this joint humming at three-quarters speed Tuesday on behalf of readers and advertisers, and business was pretty darned swell. We often wonder to ourselves what makes some folks toss in the towel on occasion. Why not do all you can, responsibly, in a given moment or situation to “do what you do?” Maybe it’s just how we’re wired. Oh, well; here comes the rain.