The Old Snow Days Just Ain’t What They Used to Be

img_0233Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, January 7, 2017, 10:28 a.m.

The snow hasn’t completely covered the grass I probably should have cut one more time before it stopped growing. It fell in hits and misses, and here it mainly swung and missed.

It’s fallen in greater amounts most everywhere else, and TV tells me that one or two more bands – the Allman Brothers; Earth, Wind and Fire – are en route.

This morning I awakened to find snow falling, but the heavy stuff was on local TV, where two anchors and a weatherman left the WSPA-TV 7 studio to take turns sledding down a five-yard hill, and, out in the wild, a pretty young reporter rode around and around in circles in a golf cart. What could have made it even better were a dozen dwarves skipping and singing, in high-pitched voices, “Follow the snowy white road!”

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

WYFF-TV 4, recently returned to DirecTV after “an impasse,” offered more sober and sensitive coverage. Or, perhaps, that was based on the skewed perspective of what I saw.

Enough of this frivolity. Black Ice, which seems as sinister as the Black Plague, based on fervent admonitions from those advising us to stay inside and off the deadly roads, is bound to descend upon the asphalt-coated thoroughfares. Meanwhile, I consider making it to the mailbox without busting my ass.

An interesting term, “busting my ass.”

The rare snows of my youth were greeted with more reckless abandon. I wonder what would happen if, today, I hitched the tractor (I’d have to have a tractor, okay) to the upside-down hood of 1949 Dodge, and drug a load of my friends all over town, swinging it out wide so that my friends would tumble into ditches, and, and then, one of them would insist on taking my place on the tractor, so that I could be the recipient of The Big Payback.

Not only would we all be thrown in jail, but I would be committed to an asylum. I’m 58 years old. It would be justifiable.

No one ever got hurt back in the old days. We were limber youths. And the usual driver was my father, who’d had a little something “to knock the chill off.” Later, I learned that a man can sip brandy in the snow for hours without feeling the slightest bit impaired, then walk inside, sit down in front of the fire, and pass out in 30 seconds.

As I once told my mother, “They’d throw you in jail now,” and as my mother replied, looking at me over her reading glasses, “They throwed you in jail back then.

“But not your daddy.”

Rest in peace, Jimmy Dutton.


If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at (

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is on sale all January as a Kindle download at

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.


(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).




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