Winter Passage by Bob Batch

by Bob Batch

This month I just want to remind you that it won’t be long before the winter is over even though it feels like it never will be. This is the time of year we need all kinds of distractions to take our minds off the ways the day plod along when the weather is cold and the sky Is bleak.

Bob Batch

It’s around this time of year that we need to be inundated with award shows. The Hollywood spectacles where celebrities nearly break their arms patting themselves on the back for the important work they do – making movies about imaginary things. The number of award shows for all sorts of entertainment seems to have grown exponentially over time to the point where there is a new one practically every week for months on end.

The only award shows I never see are for things that actually matter, like say, humanitarian efforts, or people helping society in their line of work.

If you still need something to take your mind off the cold and dreary days you’ll be spending scraping the ice off your car and salting your sidewalk, dedicate yourself to having the most spectacular Super Bowl party in the history of sports. It doesn’t even matter if you know the difference between a deflated football and an inflated sports event, celebrating the Super Bowl is practically a spiritual experience now.

Never mind that the Super Bowl is just another football game (and usually a pretty bad one at that) there is the half time show featuring some mega star prancing around with a back drop of fireworks and loud music, and special, highly anticipated commercials. (Imagine, we’re waiting to see commercials because they’re Super Bowl commercials)

I hope all you guys out there win big on those Super Bowl pools because in the next two weeks you’ll forget about having to trudge through the snow and cold by trying to decide what to buy your sweetie for Valentine’s Day. Sometime years ago St. Valentine decreed that there should be a day to honor the noble sentiment of romantic love. To best express the true depth of one’s feelings, besotted males were required to spend money on over priced greeting cards, marked up flower arrangements and whatever other exorbitant gifts they could barely afford.

Valentine’s Day, which probably was a fun holiday once upon a time, is now the opportunity for jewelers and makers of any luxury item – whether it’s a car or fur or whatever – to propagate the notion that giving expensive gifts means you ‘really care’. So now you’re not giving enough unless you are spending a fortune on some diamond necklace or a new Lexus. That box of assorted chocolates just doesn’t cut it compared to that.

Around the same time as Valentine’s Day there is a fairly new tradition that developed which helps the male of our species, overcome the frigid winter ordeal – the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Of course, this magazine has absolutely nothing to do with sports in the same way that Super Bowl celebrations have nothing to do with football. But in the middle of February the fantasy of models lounging on sun kissed beaches in swimwear that no one would actually swim in seems to lift the spirits of nearly everyone buried under a blanket of snow.

There is a kind of seediness attached to men’s magazines with barely dressed women in their page. But somehow the Sports Illustrated layouts are considered ‘wholesome’, probably because of the loose association with sports. Sports seem to be immune to any moral transgressions or scandal by virtue of their ability to mesmerize a whole segment of the population that would otherwise have no reason to live.

At any rate, I’m glad for all of these reasons we have now to keep from getting too melancholy about the cold. I remember winter when I was a kid. There was always a calendar in our class rooms in grammer school, and the winter months would have a picture with the landscape covered in snow. This was before anyone thought of wind chill factors and the weather service was trying to predict what was going to happen next month. It was a time when you had a thermometer outside the window and you knew how cold it was by just looking at that. Everybody knew you would feel colder when the wind blew. The meteorologist on T.V. didn’t have to tell you to bundle up – your Mom did that!

I remember my old man, who hated winter by the way, would always say, “Well the days are getting longer.” That was his way to make it through the winter months. That marking the days till Spring, with each day getting longer and getting closer to warmer weather. Back then everyone just expected it to snow and be cold every winter. There wasn’t a ‘Snowpocalypse’ every time a storm was coming. Even though at that time you actually could get snowed in for a couple of days.

I suppose there are people reading this who love the winter time when they can go skiing, snowboarding and do all of those winter sports bundled up in their LL Bean sub-zero gear. I know, it’s great to conquer the mountain and all that, but I’m hoping that Groundhog predicts an early spring every year.

Related posts:

  1. Bob Batch : Time is Not Running Out
  2. Bob Batch: One for the books
  3. Bob Batch: It’s Not News To Me
  4. Bob Batch: We Will Get Fooled Again


  1. Happy New Year Bob,

    It seems like only a few years ago we were all working at Von Dohln Marina. After work we would then prepare for a night of standing in front of GW School, or cruising between Edgewater and Fort Lee/Leonia, in Eddie Garlands Volvo. You would know who was hanging out at GW as you drove by, just by the make and model of cars parked in attendance out front.

    A question for you, if you could help figure out for me and others is, “How many of the Edgewater kids moved from Edgewater to Las Vegas”?. I seem remember at one time, I believe there were in excess of 35 ex-pats living in Vegas.

    We still get the HOT Edgewater news along with most local Edgewater, Fort Lee and Leonia stories prior to most of the local residents of Edgewater being informed of said stories.

    I just got introduced to this Edgewater Residential, periodical news magazine yesterday. Which was Super Pi (3.14.15) Saturday. I will keep watching for your article each month. I still have your hand drawn Christmas Cards and attached stories you sent out 30 to 40 years ago. I read the Cards every year on Christmas Eve. I keep them in my old book of, “The Night Before Christmas”. Which I still read to my kids every Christmas Eve. Hopefully in a few years it will be some of my grandkids.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your upcoming articles.

    Steve Quinn (Edgewater Resident, Nov. 1968- Aug.1972)

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