By the time I arrived at the Marietta Super 8, they had nearly sold out of rooms. The rooms that were available were frozen shut. Motel staff and maintenance workers attempted for well over an hour to pry open the doors in a noble attempt to shelter myself and other weary travelers.
During this ordeal, I noticed something.
Everywhere I turned, stranded motorists were rescued. Strangers helped other strangers push cars off of icy patches and slick roadways. On the highway, Good Samaritans brought hot soup or water to their fellow commuters. In the below-freezing temperatures, stores remained open late or even through the night.
In the next few weeks, the lack of preparation of the city and state will be scrutinized. Surely someone was at fault.
I can’t help but quote the embattled former mayor of Providence, R.I., Buddy Cianci, when he said that, “at the local level, there’s no Democratic way to plow snow or a Republican way to build a home for the elderly. It’s (about) getting it through, getting it done.”
There is no doubt that the lack of coordination by school systems, the business sector and government magnified an already dangerous winter weather situation. It could have also been the lack of removal equipment or the weather forecast.
Still, after all the ice melts, the traffic begins to flow again and final blame has been cast, it should be noted that throughout the storm, Georgians continued to do what Georgians do.
Despite not seeing a single snow plow or sanding truck, I did experience the one thing that this corner of America is known for, and that’s just good ol’ Southern hospitality.
A 2008 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Patrick Darcey grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Georgia in June 2012. He currently resides in Atlanta.