Snow angels help out in city’s time of need

Published 1:58 pm Monday, February 3, 2014

CUTLINE: Helena’s Morgan Road was jammed with cars during the snow storm. (contributed)

CUTLINE: Helena’s Morgan Road was jammed with cars during the snow storm. (contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART/Community columnist

It started with councilman and blogger Hal Woodman’s suggestion that if Helena received any snow, he would hold a contest for the Best Little Snowman in Helena.

By the end of the day, there were a handful of entrants and Woodman himself had risen to hometown hero status keeping his readers abreast of local situations during the ensuing hours.

There were many other heroes during the day; those mentioned here are only a few of our “angels in Alabama.”

When resident Amy Perryman Gunter wasn’t able to get back to Helena, she started helping people who needed a ride home in her Jeep.

Gunter posted, “Just can’t leave kids and old people on the side of the road in this. Pulled out several trucks and a bus! Sitting here waiting to hook up again. I’m having fun!”

“What a day,” she posted later, “dramatic but awesome. I had my faith in people renewed and was reminded about how stupid some can be. Yes, we are being made fun of for our lack of ability to drive in the snow. But the snow was not the issue. I saw places with two inches of accumulated ice and 4×4’s sliding off roads.”

Alan Farmer made himself available throughout both icy days transporting kids from all four schools home to their families and others walking to get home.

By late evening, Andy and Shelly Bailey had transported children, babies, families, teachers and blankets around Helena. “I was choking back tears while I watched Andy holding a sleeping 20-month-old in his arms with a grin the size of Texas on his face while he walked in the snow,” Shelly said.

Helena Elementary kindergarten teacher Andrea Burks described her only overnight stay in school in her 30 years of teaching.

“We grouped the K students in the media center and used their rest blankets, towels, and stuffed animals,” she said. “We played that this was an adventure game. The children were so well-behaved. Our maintenance technician and custodian served as chefs, serving us hot dogs and hamburgers yesterday around 4 p.m., grilled cheese sandwiches in the late evening and a full breakfast including biscuits, sausage and grits on Wednesday morning.”

Even amidst the craziness of the unexpected, the Tuesday filming of the now-not-so-secret movie in Old Town went on. Their caterer cancelled for the evening meal, but Kevin at Zou’s Kitchen came in to cook for the some 55 folks.

In the words of resident Helen Nickerson, “The storm of 2014 proved one thing— love is action not words.”