January 17th, 2007 5:33 pm | by Kyle Cassidy News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

CRYPT OF THE GLACIERS 2007: Madness, Badass Go-Carts, Firemen and Snow...

Frozen fireman

The snow Tuesday fell thick enough to cover the tracks of people looking to escape work for the day and have some fun. Portlanders from all districts filled the coffee shops and streets, enjoying the day off. I decided to take a walk up Belmont to see how people were enjoying the day.

It seemed that every person I spoke with had an interesting story—like Justin Leonard, who was headed from Mt. Tabor to downtown where he works as an attorney. I stopped him as he was cross-country skiing down the middle of the street. “This is the first time I've cross-country skied to work.” Leonard told me.

Outside the Scooter Station on 30th and Belmont, two large poodles gazed on in amusement as employee Tom Johel and his friend tested out the Talon go-cart by spinning brodies in the parking lot. The Talon, which looks like a badass golf cart, is powered by a scooter-engine that can do 40 miles per hour. It even comes equipped with a roll cage. The go-cart isn't exactly street-legal, but according to Johel the pair felt it was their duty to “see how it did in the snow and have some fun with it.”

Fire Prevention and Public Education officers Earl Dimet and Mike Okeeffe shoveled snow and dished out smiles to passersby outside the Belmont Historic Fire Station on 35th and Belmont. Mike, who used a piece of particle-board as a shovel, drove his motorcycle to work this morning. “Weatherman said it was gonna snow so I figured they were lying!” He laughed at his mistake. “I'd take six feet of this before I take a quarter inch of ice.”

Further up the road, Portland's world-renowned video store Movie Madness was experiencing a little madness of its own as cabin-fevered locals stormed in to find something to do besides retype the same sentence over and over on their typewriters. Customers were renting “a lot of TV series – long stuff because they know they'll be inside for a while” said employee Michele Coron.

Not everyone I met on Belmont enjoyed the snow Tuesday. After I helped Reginald Hunt push his jingling shopping cart of Steele Reserve cans and recyclable bottles across the street, he told me the story of how he had a pair of snow pants and warm sleeping bag stolen from him at the detox center downtown on Monday night.

“They took them off because I had dirty socks on,” he said. “But they didn't give them back. That was an $89 Christmas present.” Hunt, who was on his way to St. Francis to eat lunch, is in the process of contacting the manager of the detox center to try and retrieve his missing snow pants and sleeping bag.

On the way home from Movie Madness I backtracked a few blocks to help push a 41 year old man in a wheelchair through the snow for a few blocks. The man, who shattered his pelvis bone falling off scaffolding while doing construction, told me he was then “going to buy pot.”

So it went. Too bad it doesn't snow here more often.

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