By Bob Weaver

"It has been a few years since we had a really cold winter," said the late Willard Jones, the unofficial Mayor of Five Forks and ole-time music maker.

Among his Winter talk, he said, "It dropped to -24. I think that was the coldest I remember in Calhoun." Willard thought the next winter would be really nasty, a lot more snow than usual.

"Its been a few years since we had a lot of snow," referring to the winter of 1995-96 which had the last big blizzard, knocking out the power and making travel impossible.

The Old Farmers Almanac often disputes Willard's prediction.

His final weather prediction: "It's going to get real cold in February."

We couldn't find a woolly worm to give the weather news this year, according to Hur's official weather prognosticator, Dianne Weaver. Dianne has been an expert on the Hur Weather Anomaly, where the weather is driven by an air flow up Rowel's Run, snow, thunderstorms, and rain, becoming more intense on Hur Hill than anywhere around.

"You can look out the window and see three inches of snow, and drive off the hill and find but a skiff," she says. "This is the only place I know where we have floods on top of a hill." She also maintains that electric storms streak right over the Hur Herald's executive suite, knocking down trees, before they head directly toward Calhoun's 911 Center.

"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 Jones 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."

Willard always remember listening to the simple weather forecasts in a time long ago. "Now you watch it for five minutes and you can't remember what they said.

Of course, we all remember the Great Ice Storm.

Actually, the past few winters, its a sight to see snow.