The weather has been cold and blustery here in Columbus, but we can at least be glad we don’t live in Buffalo, New York.
Poor Buffalo! It received 7 feet of snow in two days, with most falling in a 24-hour period. Seven feet of snow! It probably set a record for the most snow falling in a 24-hour period. I guess a “lake effect” that produces seven feet of snow just confirms why Lake Erie is a Great Lake.
To put this in context, consider that seven feet of snow would bury my car completely. Seven feet of snow would reach the bottom of a basketball backboard and would completely cover a standing LeBron James. Seven feet of snow would reach the top of most doors and would put enormous weight on the roofs of homes. You could look out over your yard and see nothing but a vast expanse of whiteness — no shrubs, no streets, no mailboxes, no fire hydrants, all slumbering peacefully beneath the unbroken blanket of white.
Seven feet of snow! It boggles the mind. And every guy who lives in the snow belt is thinking: how in the heck do you shovel out of that much snow? And even more bizarrely, how many of us are physically capable of throwing a shovelful of snow more than seven feet into the air to clear our buried driveways?
Well, the Buckeyes survived, and so did the thousands of Buckeye fans sitting in the sweltering confines of Ohio Stadium on a hot August day. We got to see glimpses of a potent offense, some less than stellar play during the second and third quarters, and the first Script Ohio of the season. All in all, a good day.
Although the Buckeyes won over a game Buffalo squad, 40-20, the team has a long way to go. The offensive line struggled and at times the defense did, too. It wasn’t clear whether it was jitters or blown assignments or the difficulties that you often see when players start a college game for the first time, but it’s something that the coaches we need to work on. If ever a first game presented a coaching opportunity, this was it.
Today the footprint of the Webner family gets a bit broader. For the first time, one of the members of my immediate family crosses over the mighty Mississippi to establish a toehold in the traditional west.
Richard will move to Columbia, Missouri, to begin work at the graduate school of journalism at the University of Missouri. He’ll be relocating to the land of prairie and prairie dogs, where herds of buffalo thundered across the open plain and huge flocks of passenger pigeons darkened the skies, where grass grew waist-high and rippled in the wind like the waves of the sea, where the Dakota, Kickapoo, and Shawnee once roamed, trappers plied their trade, settlers built cabins and broke the sod.
The residents of Webner House have lived and worked and gone to school at various locations in the eastern half of the country but have never lived in the western states. I’ve always had a romantic notion of the American West, where so many of the themes running through American culture — the fearless and hardy pioneer, the rugged cowboy on the lonesome prairie, the self-made individuals looking for opportunity and success in new towns — were first written. I’m looking forward to visits to Missouri to see whether those deep chords of Americana still are sounded where the West began.