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Art Lee: Snowbirds talk snow to southern disbelievers

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Art Lee: Snowbirds talk snow to southern disbelievers
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

“Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.”  — Mark Twain

The Tucson Chamber of Commerce calls us “Winter Residents” and welcomes us here — providing we spend a lot of money. The locals call us “Snowbirds” and regard us as temp-Northern-flat-landers whose big cars clog up their already clogged streets and highways.


It’s also these “foreigners” who cause the long waiting lines to get into restaurants.

Anyway, when the Snowbirds and the locals meet, what is there to talk about?  Why, the weather, of course. After all, there’s so much of it.

The Tucson daily newspaper’s Weather Section includes the “coldest spot in the nation” and the “hottest spot.” It is the former that gets watched carefully, notably the winter weather in Minnesota, and there is one location in the state that gets mentioned often, like five days in a row, and that of course is Embarass. Hence the conversation:

“Is that the name of the city or a description of the residents who live there?

“It’s not a city; it’s a tiny town that is hardly a town. And their fame for coldness makes some of their residents proud.

“Huh? Goofy. My neighbor says he heard that  your town of International Falls wants to claim to be “The Ice Box of the Nation.”  That’s a dubious honor in my book. Is that true?


“Hooo-whee, If I lived there, I’d crawl in bed following the first Fall snowflake and not get out from under the covers ‘til June first.

“Hey, you learn to live with it  — and in it. Did you see the NBC’s Nightly News when they featured a long segment on the Ice Fishing contest in Brainerd, where there were 10,000 fishermen?  And they also showed  many cars and trucks driving across the lake on the ice.

“Ahhh, now you’re puttin’ me on.

“Nope, it’s true. Folks more than put up with winter, they just accept it and move on. It may be cold but so what? Life goes on much the same way, regardless of thermometer readings. if you watched the final Vikings game of the season in Minneapolis, the temp was 66 degrees inside the Metrodome and -11 outside on the streets, and when the fans  walked out, the TV man with the mic asked a couple if they were now cold. And their answer”  “Nah, it’s  just a little brisk.”  And the other, “Hey, we’re tough up here.”

Turns out the questions and answers were pretty much the same as applied to Arizona — i.e. Arid-zona —.

“How much rain here?

“Well, way back when, historically when the Biblical Flood covered the entire earth, well that year Arizona got an inch-and-a-half. Ha ha ha.

“And how about those hot summers? How hot does it get?  

“Well, it gets so hot that the Robins have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground.

“Har har har. But hey, you’re right,  it might get a little warm, but so what? Life goes on. . . .

Stalemate? Maybe.

 So finally the question to the snowbirds the locals thought about often and asked less often: “So why do people live up there?”

Answer: Because it’s so nice in the summers.

So finally the question for the Locals that’s thought about often and asked less often: “So why do people live down there?”

Answer:  Because it’s so nice in the winters.