Thursday, December 17, 2009

Decade in Review/ 2001 & 2002

This is the second of a series of posts titled "Decade in Review". Each post will be dedicated to one year or at most two, so no one will get bored reading the entire long document! This is a review on the years 2001 and 2002. Thanks for reading!!

    - 2001 -

The first highlight of 2001 was the inauguration of President George W. Bush on January 21st. Following 8 years of liberal rule, conservatives nationwide breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately Mr. Bush, unlike Reagan, proved in the long run to be a weak leader and a bit too worried about what the world thought of us.

In mid- July, I purchased my first camera, to photograph clouds. That was the start of my current photography hobby, and yes I have photographed many other things besides clouds!

Unfortunately, the next highlight of 2001 is also the infamous highlight of the decade and the largest mass murder event in the history of this nation. In the mid morning hours of September 11, 2001, Muslim extremists boarded and hijacked 4 passenger airliners. As the nation watched in horror, the first one crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. Fifteen minutes later, the second crashed decisively into the south tower. America will never forget the images of the two mortally wounded skyscrapers billowing smoke over lower Manhattan. Both collapsed within an hour or so. The third hijacked airliner which many suspect was heading for the White House, instead smashed into a wing of the Pentagon building, the headquarters for our national defense. The fourth airliner never reached a target, because some of the passengers who realized what was happening, attacked the hijackers. That one crashed into an open field in rural Pennsylvania. Within just a few hours, large numbers of people were their knees, entreating God to have mercy. Churches were filled to overflowing, and people lined up for blocks to give blood. When disaster strikes, it brings out the best in people. Unfortunately, America's new-found faith did not last.

9/11 should have been enough for one year, but I have one more highlight from 2001 on a little lighter note. December 5th, 2001, went down as the warmest December day in history! (locally) The high of 64 degrees was set about 11 am just before the cold front came through.

    - 2002 -

2002 was the year of the construction in the Chippewa Valley, at least for me! About 9 am on February 19th, 2002, I heard a suspiciously familiar beeping and rattling coming through the dense fog from the direction of the old model airplane flying field. Upon further investigation, I found that Hoffman Construction Co. had just dropped off 2 CAT D9L dozers!! I was elated, and began keeping careful records, waiting to hear about the project start dates. By the end of the day, they had also dropped off and lined up 6 CAT 631E seriesII scrapers!! I fully expected them to be planning a start date quite soon, but when the project supervisor talked to us the next day, he told us construction would not start before March 18th. That was the last I saw of Hoffman Construction for about 6 weeks, as winter set in again with fury.

Construction finally commenced on April 8, 2002, as the 2 land-clearing dozers the D6R and the D8N rattled into action cutting a swath through the Christmas tree farm, our old backyard, and the hardwood forest on the hill which had already been logged of any valuable trees (thankfully).

With the advent of Spring finally upon us after a late-staying winter, the work progressed rapidly, and things were ready for the closure of 50th Avenue on April 15, 2002. On that morning about 9 am, the one new scraper from the 6 that had been sitting idle, was dispatched to the end of the blacktop where they broke it in scraping up blacktop!!

I could bore you all with the construction details covering much of the summer, and most of it I would have to look up, as it isn't immediately on the top of my head, but that would all probably fill 15 pages or more, so I think it suffices to say that the road was finally opened, although it was still gravel, on August 28th, 2002, just in time for the schools to start.

On Labor Day, September 2, 2002, a fierce tornado rolled through downtown Ladysmith heavily damaging the town. I saw the storm in the north and by it's growth habits thought it looked severe, so I wasn't surprised by that news. Personally, I was glad it didn't roll through here, as I had more important things to think about on that day!!

Following the cool and unpredictable trend of the previous part of the year, October gifted the Chippewa Valley with a blanket of 5 inches of snow on the night of October 20-21. That was the first time that significant measurable snow had fallen within one week after my birthday. Wisconsinites were mortified.

~!<<<<>>>>><to be continued><<<<<>>>>!~

1 comment:

JWcountryphoto said...

Here's a link to the next one: