By Bob Weaver

With cold winter weather descending on the county, we lament that we have yet to find a weather prognosticator to replace the late Willard Jones.

"It has been a few years since we had a really cold winter. It once dropped to -24. I think that was the coldest I remember in Calhoun," he said.

"Faus Johnson use to tell about skating down the Little Kanawha River from Grantsville in 1917 or 1918, and then walking home," recalled Willard.

They could drive teams across the frozen river, before the first bridge was built.

"Down on Yellow Creek in one of those years, the water was frozen clear to the bottom," according to Willard's mom. "She had to go out, chip ice and melt it for the chickens."

Willard recalled the 1950's blizzard, often written about in The Hur Herald, that made a dent on the collective memory of Calhoun County.

"The sun was shining brightly and all of a sudden it clouded up and got really quiet. A scary quiet. Then it began to snow that Thanksgiving and it just wouldn't quit. Not much moved for two weeks," he recalled.

Willard, when pressed for the annual forecast, would say, "Now I ain't been to wooly-worm school, but I think it's gonna be about like usual. I think it will be pretty cold in February."

See WILLARD JONES DIES - Leaves Emptiness In These Parts

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