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THE STRONG WOMAN: Why I Don’t Go to Dallas Between November and February


By Claire Cooper Black


You may not know this, or you may, but we use to live in Dallas, Big “D.”  I lived there for 30 years and the Weekender about 15.  Before that I lived in Big “H,” Houston.  You could say that I am familiar with driving in the big cities.

The difference between Dallas and Houston during the winter months … ICE!  Snow I can kind of handle.  But ICE, nope.

I have had numerous ice episodes over those 30 years in Dallas.  Just think of it as having at least one “ice episode” each year.  I have too many stories and not enough space.  I could fill the whole Messenger with my “ice capades.”  Although “capades” may not be the correct word since it means “for entertainment.”  I was never amused.

Houston may, I repeat, may get ice every now and then, but in Dallas, you can count on at least one ice storm each winter.

Are Texans east of Abilene wimps when it comes to winter driving?  You bet we are!  And we will admit it willingly.  That’s why we live East of Abilene!

 In all my “ice capades” over the 30 years in Dallas, all but one never involved bent metal.  The one that did involve bent metal was someone sliding across a raised median and running into me in my lane.  That brings up the problem with finding a rental car during a major ice storm in Dallas.

If you are on the tail end of that storm, you end up with the worst possible rental car you can imagine.

All the good, reliable cars have been snatched up at the beginning of the storm.  After that one accident, I ended up with some sub-compact foreign thang that’s battery died every time I turned the car off.

The rental company even put in a new battery, but that didn’t help the hamster on the wheel turning the engine over.

 I had to carry jumper cables around with me the whole time.  (Think of jumping a rental car in freezing weather while wearing a dress, in 3-inch heels, standing on an icy parking lot.)  It’s not a pretty picture.  Funny picture?  Maybe now, 20 years later.  No.  It’s still not even funny to me.

The worst “ice capade” was a 2-hour, 15-mile drive, with a stick shift, in those infamous 3-inch heels.  My left knee has never been the same.

Now you know why I don’t go to Dallas between November and February.  After 30 years of “ice capades,” I’ve given up on trying to prove I can drive on ice.

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