News of the Week: Winter Wonderland, World War II Letters, and We’re Gonna Zoom Zoom Zooma Zoom

In the news for the week ending January 14, 2022, are white stuff, Wordle, weird food, slow mail, Froot Loops, and more.

A snow-covered city park at night

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It has been very cold this week here in the Northeast. I know that sounds like the first sentence of a rant about winter and how I hate it and how I can’t wait for the spring and flowers, but longtime readers of this column know me better than that. I’ll take 30 degrees over 90 degrees, thank you.

The wind was so ferocious overnight on Wednesday that it shook the house. But there’s always something oddly comforting about that sound, knowing it’s outside and I’m inside in bed. I even like staying awake to listen to it.

And it snowed! Not a dusting, not a quick passing flurry, but a long storm that dumped several inches of fluffy white. I shoveled three times over the course of six hours (I like to keep ahead of the storm so it doesn’t get out of hand), and I didn’t mind one bit.

As I was shoveling near the edge of the sidewalk — a frustrating part of the chore because a plow will come by a few minutes later and dump a bunch of snow in the exact spot I just cleared — I paused to take a look around my neighborhood, and I realized how much better it looks covered in white. I don’t live in the best of neighborhoods — there’s lots of traffic, lots of trucks coming up and down the hill because there are businesses across the street, people leaving trash and old shopping carts near my front stairs, etc. — but it changes after a solid storm. The white covers the gray of the sidewalks and buildings, the snow falling near the street lights gives the neighborhood a perfect glow, and the small park across the street with the benches and paths practically turns into a Currier and Ives painting.

The other day I heard that a couple of people I know moved to Florida. I always wonder how and why this happens. There’s a name for people born and raised in New England who decide to move to Florida: “Floridians.” Because they’re certainly not New Englanders. We might complain about the cold and snow while we’re buying our shovels and rock salt, and rant about high heating bills and having to get our cars off the streets during a big storm, but we get through it because we’d rather be here than anywhere else.

This is from one of my favorite albums, by The Four Freshman. Yes, it’s a Christmas album, but even in January you can still listen to winter songs as long as they don’t mention Santa, rocking around a decorated tree, or grandma getting run over by a reindeer.

Uploaded to YouTube by The Four Freshmen – Topic

Have You Tried Wordle Yet?

Maybe you’ve already heard of this new word game. I’m often late to sites/games/memes that become massively popular — and often they’re not worth the effort when I do try them — but Wordle looks like a keeper. You have to guess a five-letter word with only six chances. Green letters mean you have a correct letter in the exact space, yellow letters are in the word but in the wrong space, and gray letters aren’t in the word at all. One puzzle a day!

Snail Mail

You hear about these things every now and then, a letter or package that is finally delivered to someone after 20, 40, 60 years. And you wonder, how the heck does that happen? Where has it been all those decades? Nobody saw it?

This week we heard about a letter written by a soldier to his mom in 1945 that finally made it to its destination last month. That’s 76 years! I’ll think of this next time my Amazon package is delayed a day by bad weather.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Boston

Weird Food of the Week

Genius or travesty? I guess we’d have to actually eat it to find out. You go first.

RIP Sidney Poitier, Bob Saget, Ronnie Spector, Dwayne Hickman, Marilyn Bergman, Dick Carson, Michael Lang, and Lawrence Brooks

Sidney Poitier starred in such classic films as Lilies of the Field (for which he was the first Black actor to receive the Best Actor Oscar), In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, No Way Out, The Defiant Ones, Blackboard Jungle, and To Sir, With Love. He died last week at the age of 94.

Bob Saget was a comic who starred in two very popular ABC shows of the 1990s: Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos. He was also the voice of the adult Ted on How I Met Your Mother. He died Sunday at the age of 65.

Ronnie Spector sang lead for the ’60s girl group The Ronettes, known for such songs as “Be My Baby,” “Walking in the Rain,” and “Baby I Love You.” She also sang backup vocals on Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight.” She died Wednesday at the age of 78.

Dwayne Hickman starred in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis in the late ’50s/early ’60s. He was a regular on The Bob Cummings Show before that and later became an executive at CBS. He died Sunday at the age of 87.

Marilyn Bergman, with her husband Alan Bergman, co-wrote several classic songs, including “The Way We Were,” “The Windmills of Your Mind,” “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?,” and “Papa Can You Hear Me?” She won several Grammys, Oscars, and Emmys for her work. She died Saturday at the age of 93.

Dick Carson was Johnny Carson’s brother and an Emmy-winning director of many TV shows, including The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show, Get Smart, and Wheel of Fortune. He died last month at the age of 92.

Michael Lang was one of the founders of Woodstock. He later went on to produce follow-up shows in 1994 and 1999. He died last week at the age of 77.

Lawrence Brooks was the oldest living veteran of World War II. He died last week at the age of 112.

This Week in History

Zoom Premieres (January 9, 1972)

The theme song alone will instantly trigger something in people of a certain age. I’m one of those people of a certain age, and I can’t believe it’s been 50 years since it premiered.

0-2-1-3-4. Send it to Zoom!

Benedict Arnold Born (January 14, 1741)

I didn’t realize that he and his family moved to England, but it makes sense. He died in London in 1801.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Frozen Milk” (January 8, 1944)

empty bottles of milk set outside for the milkman

They’ll have to thaw that out if they want to pour it on …

Froot Loops!

Regardless of what the Houston Rockets and the people in charge of the concession stand at the Toyota Center will tell you, there are many normal things you can make with the classic colorful cereal.

Let’s start at Kellogg’s, where you can find a recipe for Froot Loops Muffins. Then head on over to Real Simple for these Soft-Baked Froot Loops Sugar Cookies. Then make a stop at How to Make Cereal Treats to learn how to make Froot Loops Cereal Treats. After that, go all the way back over to Kellogg’s for these Froot Loops Ice Cream Balls.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

NFL Wildcard Games (January 15-16)

On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, CBS will have the New England Patriots vs. the Buffalo Bills, and on Sunday at 4:30 the Dallas Cowboys vs. the San Francisco 49ers. NBC has the Las Vegas Raiders vs. the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday at 4:30 and will have the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at 8 p.m.

Australian Open Starts (January 16)

This year, there’s as much drama off the courts as there is on. ESPN has coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET, and Tennis Channel will have replays every day and night.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17)

After the March on Washington in 1963, many whites believed that racial equality was happening too quickly. King gave this response in the November 7, 1964, issue of the Post.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. I sure do enjoy reading about someone else enjoying Winter! Thank you for regularly stating our case! here’s to our fellow Psychrophilics!

    Van Reid

  2. Oh trust me, I know how intense the Northeast snow’s been this week seeing Ginger Zee and Rob Marciano freezing on ‘World News Tonight’ timing it all out, and we’re only 3 weeks ‘officially’ into winter! I feel bad your snow shoveling efforts are thwarted, or at least partially.

    Per paragraph 4, one of the upsides is having that junk covered over with snow, including those disgusting cigarette butts. Recently, temps in Northwest L.A. have gotten down to 32-34 at night and that’s friggin cold, bro! I KNOW ‘that’s nothing’ compared to other sections of the country, but I ain’t used to even that. The heat, yes.

    You mentioned 90 degrees, but imagine 110-116 heat on the flip side out here on some days between July-Sept. Dash out, then in, asap. My electric bill has been low because I keep it at 72 and it goes on/off as needed. Also have a smart room heater for the bedroom. It’s a DeLonghi brand from Lowe’s.

    Thanks for ‘Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland’ by The Four Freshmen. The computer says it’s from 2007, but It sounds mid-century to me. The soldier’s 1945 letter to his mom finally arriving in 2022 is crazy, but wonderful. His wife certainly appreciates it. What a sweet lady.

    The whole ‘Zoom’ thing here from ’72 is new to me. No, wasn’t in my orbit. The only Zoom I know is since the pandemic, the film term to ‘zoom-in’, and the kid in the old Mazda ads that said “Zoom zoom” earlier in the 21st.

    Great 1944 Post cover by the great Stevan Dohanos. (Always have to mention they’re NOT all Rockwell’s!!)


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