Yesterday’s snow storm brought out the best in some people in Brockport. There’s an old saying that you don’t start shoveling until it stops snowing. Well when it finally stopped snowing yesterday there was a foot of snow on the ground and the snow piles left by the DPW trucks at the end of the driveways were waist high on Utica Street in the Village of Brockport.
There was a lot of snow, and it wasn’t light and fluffy, it was heavy stuff; the kind of snow that wears you out and leads to people having heart attacks in their driveways. It was a disaster waiting to happen, but a young man and a young woman stepped in to help.
They are renting a single family house, along with another friend of theirs. It’s a small house that’s just about the right size for three people. The driveway isn’t big enough to hold their vehicles, but they figured out a way to do it.
They seem to be hard working people, who get up early and go to work every day. Really early, one of them leaves the house before 5:00 AM. They are young, and the van and the SUV they drive have seen better days, so sometimes the neighbors know when one of them leaves the house early in the morning because of the sound of that old SUV makes when the driver turns the key to start the engine long before dawn.
When that happened yesterday morning, one of their neighbors looked out the window to see how much snow had fallen overnight. What he saw put a huge smile on his face. The man who drives the beat up old SUV had not only shoveled out the snow in the driveway, he had also shoveled the snow off the sidewalk on Utica Street in front of the rental house.
That was a classy thing to do, but later in the day his two roommates went two steps farther. After the snow stopped, they shoveled out their driveway again. Then when they saw one of their neighbors shoveling his driveway, they walked up the street and helped him shovel out the end of his driveway too. The man who lives two houses north of them has a headful of gray hair, but they didn’t know that. They just saw a neighbor shoveling snow so they walked over to help. That was a classy thing to do, especially yesterday.
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After they finished, the two young people walked back to their rental house and went inside to warm up. But they weren’t done yet. A couple of hours later they saw an elderly man shoveling out his long driveway across the street from the house they’re renting. So they pulled on their winter clothes again, grabbed their snow shovels and walked across the street to help their neighbor.
What makes their story even more special is that they had never met their neighbor until yesterday, because they had just moved into the neighborhood this winter. After the driveway was clear, the neighbor thanked them and asked them why they had come out to help shovel the snow.
Both of the young people answered that they wanted to be neighborly. That was the way they had been raised. They said it’s the kind of thing you do for your neighbors.
It brought back memories of something similar that happened about a decade ago in the same neighborhood. At that time, a fraternity was renting one of the student rental houses in the neighborhood when there was a huge snow storm like the one that hit Brockport yesterday. After those fraternity brothers finished shoveling out their driveway, they walked around the neighborhood helping to shovel out the driveway of everyone they met who was out shoveling.
Those fraternity brothers had their heads screwed on straight. So did the two young people who helped shovel their neighbor’s driveways on Utica Street yesterday.
Democrat & Chronicle columnist David Andreatta had a similar experience. His article Snowfall measured in kindness, is about people who did the same kind of thing yesterday in his neighborhood.