The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Mike Sunderland
Thoughts from a Grey-Haired Point of View 

Return to 1968


September 15, 2022 | View PDF

With the on set of warmer temps I invite you to come with me on a short trip to 1968 and visit a couple of “cool” events in my past.

As related in an earlier story, “The Blizzard of 1968”, Fairbanks, Alaska was visited with one of the largest snowfalls seen in recorded history for the state. So far as I know the 16 feet of new snow deposited by one storm was the most ever recorded since the Ice Age. Another first was soon to follow.

The coldest time of the year in Fairbanks usually comes in January and lasts but a week or so. That winter the bottom dropped out of the thermometer in December and for the next 45 days the temperature did not rise above 45 below zero. On many days it shivered around 60 to 70 below zero.

At one time, a blanket of ice fog set in making travel by vehicle extremely hazardous. One of the most traveled roads from Fairbanks to the University of Alaska College and beyond, to the west and north of town followed a spur of the Chena River for several miles. It was a 2-lane winding road that was not the easiest to traverse in the best weather. In ice fog it was treacherous. The ice fog became so thick it was all but impossible to see more than a few feet, and a car’s windshield wipers were required to keep the windshield clear. I drove one of the last cars to make the traverse before the road was closed for the duration.

When the ice fog lifted 12 days later wreckers were required to clear the road before it could be opened to traffic. In one spot 10 vehicles were piled up nose to tail with several of them pushed many yards off the road, almost into the river. They were following each other’s taillights. When the leader went off the road on a curve the others followed right behind. Fortunately no one was injured as speeds were reduced to a crawl. There were a few cases of frostbite when the vehicles’ occupants had to walk about a mile before they found a home where they could get in out of the 65 below zero cold.

Maybe this event had something to do with the climate change chanters to declare the world was doomed to freeze to death in another Ice Age. Remember the movie: “The Day After Tomorrow”? It featured the Northern hemisphere under deep snow as 100 foot high glaciers were moving in. New York City was freezing to death and people were fleeing south. Hmmm... climate changers got that one wrong, didn’t they. Meanwhile back in the real world...

During this time I was working at J.C. Penney. My last job with them involved straightening out their in-store storage areas. The main store was 4-stories high and each floor had merchandise storage areas along the outer walls of the building. Each hall-like area was approximately 10’-12’ wide. In the last 3 months I worked there, I was given a 4-man crew to assist in the project. We were about 2-3 weeks away from finishing when I was called into the boss’s office.

No sooner had I entered his office than he held out an envelope towards me. As I reached to take it he explained it was my last paycheck as I was no longer to be employed by the company. To make a long story short, according to the store manager, I was working too hard and too good. As a result I was making certain unnamed employees nervous. They thought I was after their jobs, ergo, it was easier to fire me than try working something out that would be acceptable to all involved. I agreed to leave without making a fuss if he would write a letter explaining the circumstances. He agreed and by the end of the day I was unemployed. Imagine being fired for doing too good of a job!

I’d like to reverse that line of reasoning and fire a large number of our public servants from the state level up to the White House. My reason? They are definitely NOT doing a good job for you and I, and we pay their salaries. (Especially Senators and Congressmen!)

In the coming elections I strongly suggest firing as many of them as we can and try a new cadre of public employees. After all they are supposed to work for you and I and should not be bowing down to elites. We pay their wages. (Remember taxes?) Starting with this year’s elections let us remove them. Period.

P.S. I wonder if articles like this will cause the FBI to search my home and put Dorothy and I in shackles.


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