Mountain Musings


Chilly Winds


Last week’s Santa Ana winds blasting through the mountaintop communities at speeds up to 60 mph are not in themselves unusual for this time of year. However, when accompanied by overnight temperatures in the mid-teens and daytime temperatures in the 20s and 30s, they make a lot of folks uncomfortable, especially kids waiting for the school bus between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.


Man, if I wanted to live in such frigid conditions, I would have moved to the “Windy City” (Chicago). If this climate change business continues, I may need to relocate to someplace where it’s warmer, like Vegas, where I headed during the recent snowstorms, since there’s several casinos there that always leave the light on for me.


“I’m goin’ where them chilly winds don’t blow, gonna find a true love, that is where I want to go, out where them chilly winds don’t blow. Sing you a song, sing it soft and low, sing it for you, baby, and then I’ll have to go, out where them chilly winds don’t blow.” (“Chilly Winds” – John Stewart from his 1973 album “Cannons In The Rain”)


By the way, the bit about finding a true love is just a part of Mr. Stewart’s song, which he wrote as a member of the Kingston Trio back in ’62. Thought I should mention that…well, my wife is the sensitive type.


Events such as these pose a serious health threat to young and old alike, especially when Edison chooses to shut off power out of fear a blown-down powerline could spark another disastrous wildfire, as has happened so many times throughout California in recent years.


It seems odd that down-the-hill cities like San Bernardino and Los Angeles have warming stations available for homeless individuals and residents who have no way to heat their homes – unless they have wall heaters, fireplaces or wood-burning stoves – during these types of extreme weather episodes. But what about us shivering mountain folks?


It would behoove the county, or even Edison, to provide locations where we can stay warm and remain healthy. Some locations that come to mind are the San Moritz Lodge and the mostly unused Lake Gregory Elementary School in Crestline, as well as the vacated Grandview Elementary School, one or both gyms at Rim High School and its rarely used Performing Arts Center. As for Running Springs, there’s the Hootman Community Center.


Luckily, here at the stately Motley Manor we have a wall heater on one side of the house that we can use when the forced-air furnace is inoperable. If it weren’t for that, I might have to go someplace where them chilly winds don’t blow.


“Wish I was a headlight on a westbound train. I’d shine my light on cool Colorado range, out where them chilly winds don’t blow. I’m leavin’ in the springtime, won’t be back till fall. If I can forget you, I might not come back at all, out where them chilly winds don’t blow.”


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott