Hanging on for Dear Life


Just this past Friday we had a snow storm come through Georgia. I was in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, and I was supposed to be there Friday, too. Then, on Thursday, I got a message from Delta airlines that I had been issued a “weather waiver” allowing me to change my ticket to return to Atlanta without charge because of the “storm” that was descending on the ATL airport. First, I was impressed that they did that. Second, I wasn’t too concerned because the last report I’d seen said that the snow wouldn’t start until about 10 p.m. on Friday evening and my flight was scheduled to get me into ATL around 8:15 p.m. So, I almost ignored it because usually these things turn out to not be much. Most of the time when it snows here, it’s gone by the end of the next day. But, I checked the report on Weather.com again and it showed snow starting on Friday morning! I changed my flight to fly home at 7 a.m. on Friday morning.

When I got to ATL, it wasn’t snowing yet, but it started snowing on my way home. And it kept snowing. It snowed all the rest of the day on Friday and into Saturday morning. I heard on the radio just yesterday that some areas received up to 12 inches. I think we were probably in the vicinity of 9 inches of snow. But, because the weather has been substantially colder than normal by Georgia standards, we still have several inches of snow and ice on our back deck.

I went out on Friday and Saturday and shot pictures and this was one of them. I thought these were brave and very determined to hang on. I admire their determination!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 2000, seven convicts broke out of a maximum-security prison in South Texas, setting off a massive six-week manhunt. The escapees, dubbed the “Texas Seven” by the media, overpowered civilian employees and prison guards in the maintenance shop where they worked and stole clothing, guns and a vehicle. The men left a note saying: “You haven’t heard the last of us yet.”

Soon after escaping from the Connally Unit lockup in Kenedy, Texas, the fugitives picked up another getaway vehicle, allegedly provided by the father of one of the men, and robbed a Radio Shack store in Pearland, Texas, making off with cash and police scanners. On Christmas Eve, the escapees, who had been convicted for a long list of violent crimes, including murder, rape and robbery, struck a sporting-goods store in Irving, Texas, where they stole a large amount of cash and weapons. In the process, the men killed police officer Aubrey Hawkins, shooting him multiple times with multiple weapons and running him over. The Texas Seven then fled to Colorado, where they purchased a motor home, told people they were Christian missionaries and spent the month at a trailer park near Woodland Park, Colorado.

On January 22, 2001, a tip from someone who had seen the Texas Seven profiled on the TV program America’s Most Wanted led police to the fugitives.Ringleader George Rivas was captured along with three of the other men. A fifth fugitive committed suicide after being surrounded by police.Two days later, law enforcement officials closed in on the two remaining escapees at a hotel in Colorado Springs.A standoff ensued, during which the fugitives conducted phone interviews with a TV news station and claimed their escape was a protest against Texas’ criminal justice system. The men then surrendered to authorities.

In February 2001, the six surviving members of the Texas Seven were indicted on capital murder charges in the death of Officer Hawkins. Each man was later convicted and sentenced to death.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Eighty percent of Haitians live under the poverty line and 54% live in abject poverty. The average per capita income in Haiti is $480 a year, compared to $33,550 in the United States.


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