It's bitterly cold today, and it was cold on Jan. 10, 1982, too

Posted by Jim Wrinn
on Thursday, January 31, 2019

Jan. 10, 1982. I was 20 years old, and driving from my hometown to University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to start the second semester of my junior year. It was an almost 6-hour drive, and it was also the coldest day in my life until this week. The high that day in North Carolina was zero, and the condensation on the inside of my Pontiac froze up. The heater couldn’t keep up with the cold.

I couldn’t help but think about that day this week with our subzero temperatures and wind chills down to -55 here in our world headquarters of Waukesha, Wis. We closed the office once this week for snow and twice for dangerously cold temperatures. I am eager to get back to work. There’s plenty of news wire to post at and an April issue to finish.

Back to 1982: Being an enthusiastic railroad photographer and eager to catch as much of the Clinchfield Railroad before it disappeared under Family Lines System gray paint, I elected to break up the long drive on this sunny but cold day and stop at the obscure junction between the CRR and parent Seaboard Coast Line called Bostic, N.C. Normally, Bostic was a welcoming spot. The crews and the folks in the yard office were happy to see anybody visit this hard to find spot in Rutherford County. I remember popping out of the car to snap a photo or two of a gray and yellow CRR SD40 and then jump back in the car to warm up and continue the drive. I’ll look for the photos this weekend, and try to add one here.

After I reached my destination, I parked my car near my dorm window and didn’t bother to crank the car until I jumped it off for spring break. I didn’t drive for two months. I was busy with studies. I was starting a gig as a desk editor at the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper. And a snow storm that followed the cold snap shut down the university for the first time since the Civil War. Isn’t it funny how you remember days like this almost 40 years later?



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