Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow

Dick Goddard

Here in Ohio we’re in the midst of an arctic vortex (they’re calling it), producing temperatures far colder than we’re accustomed to. It was around 10 degrees below zero most of yesterday. Schools and workplaces, including my husband’s, are closed today.  John views a day off, of course, not as an opportunity to kick back cozily at home, but to (what else) see a movie. He and my grownup son are soon to brave the cold in order to see Martin Scorsese’s new movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

Which reminds me. I recently ran across a poem I wrote for John one frigid evening thirty years ago, when our son was a baby. John had set out to see Raggedy Man, starring Sissy Spacek, sixty miles north to Cleveland from our Canton home. I am about to share this poem with you. You should know that at that time John worked at the Canton library, that he loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches almost as much as movies, and, if you’re not from northeast Ohio,  that Dick Goddard is a legendary weatherman, who, at age 82, still forecasts regularly on Cleveland TV.


The weatherman Goddard said twenty below

with a dozen or two cubic inches of snow.

Al Roker agreed. (His opinion’s less credible,

but concurrence confirmed that the weather’d be dreadable.)


Our John’s heart was set on Raggedy Man,

but this movie required a trip to Cleveland.

It’s a city located on Erie, the lake,

And sometimes the weather there’s no piece of cake.


For Cleveland is girded by several snow belts,

And the snow that falls lingers, where elsewhere it melts.

The driving John dreaded; the snow and the ice

Make Route Double Seven not so very nice.


Still, Cinema called.  To see Sissy in 70,

Dolby, and Cinemascope just would be heavenly.

So he put on his hat and galoshes and gloves

and kissed Kath and Dougie goodbye, whom he loves.


On the way up to Cleveland, a town called The Plum,

of precipitation he saw not a crumb.

But departing the theater, a shock was in store:

The sidewalks, the streets, and the cars dressed in hoar.


On the slush-covered streets John’s Chevette forged ahead.

Wife Kathy, at home, to be nice, changed the bed.

In a cozy dry diaper Doug silently slept,

And Daddy instead while he slipped loudly wept.


Visibility nil, and traction without,

the driving so bad, it gave John some doubt.

For was it all worth it, the sixty-mile drive,

through which in foul weather, he may not survive?


For Cinema’s muse, for Sissy and Jean-Luc,

and Feddy and Rainer and Werner and the Duke,

he could lose it all:

the treats on the table and B. Village Mall,


R. Newman, and Dougie,  the rest of the family,

the Palace and orange juice and sandwiches (p.b.)?

But then John remembered—there’s also the laundry

and crying and spit-up and work at the library.


He realized quick when compared to a movie,

that life, sometimes good, isn’t always so groovy.

So now we all know, like the old postman poem,

Not rain, sleet, or snow will keep Ewing at home.

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8 Responses to Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow

  1. Kathy says:


  2. Kim says:

    love the poem!!

  3. Kathy says:

    John liked some of it. He mentioned the quaalude scene, in which the actors were incredible? He hated all the macho stuff.

  4. Sarah Becker says:

    Part 2: Oh, and Wolf of Wall Street was terrible! Difficult to sit through, three hours seemed never-ending, and it made my spouse swear off Scorsese forever. Sorry to say that I’m almost with him on this. What happened to the warm and fuzzy Marty that we knew?

  5. Sarah Becker says:

    I read aloud to Sidney “The Ballad of John and Sissy.” We both groaned appropriately. I can see John lumbering through rough weather, cussing the ice, and yet knowing that it was all worth it just to see whatever he had set his heart on. Plus ca change…

  6. Kathy says:

    Thanks, Jamie! I’m pretty sure Dick is still on the job!

  7. Jamie says:

    Also, not being a TV watcher, I had no idea that Dick Goddard was still broadcasting. Wonder what he thinks about climate change! Hesseen it all

  8. Jamie says:

    Was that Clement Ewing or Kathy Suess? Bravo!
    I once wet into Primo Vino on a snowless evening and emerged into a blizzard!

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