Pat Shingleton: "Frozen Piano Fingers and Ice Floes"
Miriam Johnson was our piano teacher and her three worst students were me and my brothers Denis and Michael. More interested in sports than classical music, it was a challenge for Mom to ensure that daily practices were completed. As noted in a previous column, Saturday morning’s lesson included a mile walk to Miriam’s house on Spring Ave in all types of weather. January winter’s were tricky, regardless of how “bundled” you were for the journey. Inevitably our hands were fresh frozen when we reached the side door to her home. Therapy for frozen hands included a regimen of running cold water onto your digits, followed by warm then hot. I’m not sure if she charged my Mom extra for the water before we “tickled the ivories.” Heading out on-a-limb, there is a possibility we could experience something that occurred in Baton Rouge years ago - ice floes. Currently Lake Erie is frozen over with the other Great Lakes not far behind. I remember providing a live shot in the late 80s when chunks of ice were floating in the Mississippi and finally making it to the Gulf. During the winters of '93-'94, most of the Great Lake's surface was solid. In '79, all of the Great Lakes were frozen. On Memorial Day, '96, picnickers along Lake Superior's shoreline, cooled their drinks with chunks of ice floating in the lake.
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