Altamont, Mar. 20, 2014

In 1945 Vaughn Monroe recorded, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!  It is a song written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne and it was written in Hollywood, Calif. during one of the hottest days on record.  It became a popular hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard music chart the following year. One of the best-selling songs of all time, Let It Snow! has been recorded countless times. Due to its seasonal lyrics, it is commonly regarded as a Christmas song. However, the song has no Christmas references and is, therefore, a seasonal song shared by those who do not join in the celebration of Christmas.

At least 35 other artists since 1945 have recorded Let it Snow. In 2012 Rod Stewart’s version reached No.1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart in December. The song remained in the No. 1 spot for a total of five weeks, tying it for the longest leading rendition of a holiday title in the history of the chart.

Although there are many people who enjoy the song Let It Snow and many vocalists who have recorded it, the song may not receive the same reception this year in many of the snowbound areas of our country that have had more than their share of the white stuff.

What have people been doing with all of the snow that has fallen in their areas? I mean other than shovel, slip and slide and try to find a place to throw the mounds that have fallen. Friends that I have spoken with have said that it was pretty much business as usual with a heavy emphasis on play.

Hills have been wonderful for anyone interested in testing their snowboards, skis, sleds, or good old fashioned tire tubes. Years ago, we purchased truck tire inner tubes and tied ropes around them on two sides, to provide handles for when we took our trip down a hill. The tube made a great cushion and we could hold on fairly well with the rope grips. The only thing we could not do was steer the tube. During a speedy trip down a hill we would turn around several times, bump into other tubers and frequently dump at the bottom of the hill. But it was all fun.

Last month, many people around the world were glued to their televisions sets watching the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Our family watched as much as we could and were absolutely amazed at the level of hazard in many of the sports. Of course, we had many discussions about the training and preparation for competition and what the level of excitement or sorrow might be for the winners and losers.

One group of competitors that we know had a high level of excitement, just for being at the Olympics, were competing for gold in the adaptive winter games in Sochi, Russia. Many of these athletes were introduced to their sport and got their taste for athletic competition through a Shriners Hospital for Children adaptive sports clinic. Each one of them has a remarkable story to tell of how hard work, determination and an accept no limits mindset has helped them to where they are today.

Snow boarder, Heidi Jo Duce was first introduced to the sport through Salt Lake City’s Un-Limb-ited Amputee Camp. Heidi was born without a fibula and most of the bones in her right ankle and foot, a condition known as fibular hemimelia. Surgery was necessary to remove her right leg below the knee at 18 months. When she was 19 years old, she required a second corrective amputation. At 11, Heidi learned to snowboard while attending the Amputee Camp which was started by a Shriners Hospital for Children physical therapist in Salt Lake City.

Heidi never thought about being a competitive snowboarder, it was just fun for her. When the International Paralympic Committee announced that the sport would debut as part of the alpine skiing program in Sochi, Heidi knew that she wanted to be a part of these historic Paralympic games. 

Shortly after the announcement, she began her quest for Sochi Gold. Heidi’s first competitive race was in January 2013, where she actually fell at the start, but that didn’t stop her. Heidi’s currently ranked in the top 3 in the country for the sport. In addition to snowboarding, Heidi also enjoys rock climbing, ice climbing and white water kayaking.

Another athlete who adheres to the “Accept No Limits” creed is 19-year-old Dan McCoy. Dan was born with spina bifida, a birth defect caused by the incomplete formation of vertebrae, and hydrocephalus, a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain. 

Dan was treated for orthopedics at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Erie, Pa. They also helped to introduce him to the sport of sled hockey. Shriners Hospitals for Children started one of the first U.S. sled hockey teams in Erie. Pa. and soon followed with six more teams in the Northeast.

Dan has been playing sled hockey for 14 years and has been a member of the US National Sled Hockey Team for three years. He helped Team USA win a Gold medal in the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge World Championship in Hamar, Norway as well as in the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and has won other world championships.

Dan attends the University of Pittsburgh where he is pursuing a degree in rehabilitation science and sports medicine. In addition to sled hockey, Dan enjoys rowing and cycling.

These athletes, as well as other athletes who adhere to the accepted no limits mindset, are outstanding examples of what we can do when we set our mind to do it.

The next time it snows, sleets, or rains, think about the Paralympics and what those athletes have gone through to get where they are. I guess the least we can do is spread some sand or salt and shovel the walk. Either that or stay in a warm, safe place, with a hot cup of cocoa and put on a recording of Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow, until the weather gets better.


Members of Helderberg Chapter 331 had to postpone their installation of officers due to inclement weather and health issues. A rescheduled date will be announced.

New members

Members of Cyrene Temple No. 18 welcomed Sally Dennis and Barbara Kappes as new members of the Daughters of the Nile organization.  Patricia Irwin of Altamont is Queen of the group.

Food pantry

The Altamont Food Pantry always has needs. When you are shopping and you find a good bargain, it would be nice to pick up a few extras to donate to the food pantry.  Items such as laundry detergent, shampoo, Kleenex (all brands), soaps as well as canned goods would be appreciated.  Leave all of your donations inside the Gathering Space at St. Lucy/St. Bernadette Church on Grand Street.  All donations are appreciated. 


Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to Carla and Doug Stefan who will celebrate their special day on March 24.


Happy-birthday wishes are extended to:

—  L.J.Brock, Kelly Irwin, Donald Schubrea, and   Jaime Tice on March 24;

— Jessica Peck and Donna Abbot Vlahos on March 25;

— Mitchell Blackman, Nancy Twaddell, Tom Schuhle, and Zachary James Tanzman on March 26; and

— Morgan Alexa Bachus on March 27.