Victoria native Tammy Reyes has never seen snow fall in her hometown. Perhaps that's why she was the perfect person to write the Advocate's lead headline for Friday's front page.
We were searching Thursday night for the right three or four words to sum up the community's excitement about the chance of a rare snow. Because the forecast was up in the air, we had to find a headline that worked regardless of whether or not the snow fell in between when we finished the front page and the time the paper hit your driveways.
We decided the communal experience of weather provided a chance to ask for our readers' ideas. After all, we didn't have to explain the story much because we were all experiencing it together. Using Facebook and Twitter, we posted our quest. Within an hour, we had more than 60 suggestions.
Reyes came up with the winner: "Snow much anticipation." She explained she wrote the headline while she and her husband, Hector, a coach at Cade Middle School, were letting their 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son stay up late to see their first snowfall. Sitting by the fireplace and sipping Mexican hot chocolate, the kids dreamed of throwing a snowball at Dad.
While in college, Reyes, 34, and her husband saw their first and only snow on a Habitat for Humanity trip in Alamosa, Colo. Unfortunately, they were in Laredo for Victoria's historic Christmas Eve snow of 2004. Thursday night, their kids fell asleep on the couch waiting for the snow that never came.
We had such great success with the headline contest we decided to try it again Friday night for our second round of weather coverage. Our focus for Saturday's edition was on the havoc caused by the overnight ice.
As the weather warmed up Friday, we had fewer entries, but still found a picture-perfect winner. Heather Walters Brown, another Victoria native, took up the challenge of making the headline work with our lead photo of a car crash, offering this headline via Facebook: "Ice wrecks snow dreams."
She also shared a bittersweet story about her memories of the '04 snow. It was the last Christmas she spent with her older brother, Gary Walters, who was killed in Iraq. Every November, family and friends organize Gary's Care Packages in his honor.
At 33, Brown has seen snow only three times, counting last winter's flurries. Her daughter, now 10, made a 2- to 3-inch tall snowman that lived in their freezer for about three months until his toothpick arms fell off.
Reyes and Brown's stories show why we get so excited by even the chance of snow. They also remind us that we live in a special community; their stories warm our hearts even when we get an occasional cold snap.
The Browns' tiny friend.
For your enjoyment, here are some of our readers' other entries:
-- Winter wondering land
-- Northern "snowpocalypse" reaches Victoria
-- Antifreeze or Anticlimax?
-- Cold as Ice
-- 'Snow' School for Crossroads
-- No snow no show
-- Not snow much
-- It S'now or Never
-- It's a 'snow' go
-- Slip slidin'
-- Snow blows its appearance
-- Snow dreams on ice
-- Jack Frost got lost
-- We got snowed!
-- Mother Nature's not snow nice
-- Ice Ice, Baby!
-- Snow a no go
-- Black ice down
-- Drivers worse than normal
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