There's one rite of passage that comes with living in the north: waiting for the "No School" announcement due to snow. When we were little, we'd sit by my mom's AM radio, shushing when the list was about to be read. There was a little jingle that sang "Operation Snowball." and the reader of the list, Salty Brine, is a local celebrity. We even named a state beach after him, which is quite ironic now that I put it all together. Anyway, we never had cancellations the night before the way they do now. We had to get up, start getting ready just in case we had school, and wait for "Operation Snowball. The list was read in alphabetical order. We lived in Warwick, one of the last districts announced. The anticipation was enough to cause frenzy. As I got older, I knew enough to realize that if districts around us closed, we may be closed as well. Cranston being closed was usually a good sign. The excitement that accompanied hearing Warwick on the list made some of the best days of the year. We were free to attack the fresh, beautiful snow!
As I grew older, we'd watch a continuous tracker at the bottom of the TV screen. By the time I began teaching, the lists we available online. This still required refreshing the update. My district just adopted a calling system. A few minutes after my sister yelled "No school," I received an automated phone message.
There are few things that I ponder and truly feel bad that Liam will never know the way I do. He'll never have to find the number for the pizza place in the White Pages. He'll have have to flip a cassette every five songs. But him never knowing the true joy that comes from hearing Salty Brine say "No school Warwick" on AM radio truly leaves me feeling that he is missing one of youth's most simple pleasures.