One good turn deserves another
By Robin Scott
The numerous bouts with winter weather have created havoc in Dallam and Hartley Counties. From huge snowdrifts, to fallen trees, to icy front porch steps, the storms have made a mess for everyone. Along with the anticipated problems with too much snow were a few additional ones that have caused trouble for area residents. Where to park was high on the list of nuisances that had to be contended with. Whether in front of houses, businesses or in large parking lots, more parking has been available for piles and piles of snow than vehicles.
In the midst of all of the disorder, several, in fact many, many, residents took the opportunity to get out in the cold and muck to help their neighbors. The good Samaritans have provided services such as plowing driveways, streets and parking lots, shoveling sidewalks and walkways and chopping up tree limbs. The tree limbs, in and of themselves, were enough to cause major problems for the city. In fact, it may take many weeks for the city to get to all of the fallen limbs, chop them up and dispose of them.
The heroes that float to the top in a crisis are sometimes predictable, but in the last few weeks, several surprising men and women have earned the title of “true friend.” Several tractor owners have gone out of their way to plow areas all over town, including downtown. One woman reported, “I finally managed to make it out of the house to go to church two Sundays ago, and when I came back, someone had plowed all of the snow from the street in front of my home. What a blessing it was to see that clear path. And my neighbor shoveled a pathway to my door.” Many similar stories have been told.
Out at the Seventh Street Park, trustees from the Dalhart Unit have been busy clearing away the fallen branches, which numbered more than 50. Other good deeds have included grocery shopping for homebound neighbors and taking others to run errands. Another woman noted, “I am so afraid to drive when there is ice on the road, but my neighbor’s son picked me up and took me to the bank and grocery store. He was so kind and patient.”
Calls to the Dalhart Texan with reports of good deeds have poured in. “Please do a story about so and so, he’s plowing the streets of downtown all on his own and refuses to be paid for it,” exclaimed one downtown employee. Taking care of each other has become a prevalent theme in the area and each resident is discovering, “I’m not alone.”
The employees with TxDOT, Dallam County Sheriff’s Office, Hartley County Sheriff’s Office, Dalhart Fire Department, Hartley Fire Department, Channing Fire Department, Texline Fire Department, Dalhart Police Department and area EMS have all worked long hours caring for area residents as well. When the first storms rolled in, Sheriff Bruce Scott and other deputies were out near Texline all night tending to a multi-vehicle accident involving three semis. After clearing traffic and vehicles for hours on end, Sheriff Scott came home to find his own vehicle underneath a very large tree that had given way from the weight of the cold, wet snow.
On Monday several of those same folks were baring the cold again, trying to get vehicles out from under the underpass on Highway 87. They show up to assist people that should have known better than to travel on treacherous roadways. They do it without complaint or aggravation.
The efforts of so many “heroes” are truly appreciated by those who have benefited from their selflessness. One man noted, “This guy with a four-wheel drive pick up truck stopped to help me get out of the snow where my truck was stuck. He got a chain and pulled me out. I never even found out his name, but I’ll never forget how cold it was and how he was in such a great mood about helping me out.”
The good turns that so many have provided throughout Dallam and Hartley Counties surely will come back ten fold. As everyone braces for what has been reported as another bad storm, they also keep in mind that they, too, might become one of the few that do good without any anticipation of reward or recognition. Imagine if everyone did something helpful for someone else. The snow wouldn’t seem such a bother.