I lived through really cold winters in New York City. Sometimes it was as low at 10 degrees. It was so cold my mother would put the stove on. The gas burning did warm up the kitchen if you stood three feet from it. The further away, the less heat.

The people of New York City complained. They couldn't figure out who to blame. It was just too cold. My mom would put me in the bath tub. The water was hot for about a minute, and the water coming from the tap would turn cold.

"Don't worry, Dom, I have hot water," my mom said as carried a large pot of boiling water and started pouring the water into my tub. "Be careful. This water is very hot. I don't want to burn you."

It was so cold. Two pairs of socks on my feet, another pair on my hands. We never had gloves, so socks covering my hands were our type of gloves.

So when I came to Bozeman, people would ask me if I have been here in the winter time. Do they not understand I lived through 10- and 20-degree winters in New York City? I am not a snowflake, I am not worried.

This week, as part of my job as AM 1450 program director, I was reviewing old episodes of Gesundheit! With Jacobus. During the show, Jacobus did a weather report. He said it was 20 degrees below zero. He said "BELOW!" Did I hear right?

It must have been a joke. Jacobus was being silly. My family in New York City talked about the time it was 5 degrees below zero. They had to run the water in the sink and keep it flowing because if the water in the pipes froze they could explode.

Zero. Zero always scared me. I played the tape back, the weather report. No, Jacobus clearly was saying "20 degrees below zero." It couldn't be true.

A few hours later I ran into Jesse James, the DJ from XL Country. I asked him, "Jesse, in the winter here, it doesn't get 20 degrees below zero?"

"Yea," he said, even colder. Colder than 20 degrees below  zero. You're joking. Tell me the truth. I walked around the station asking staff. It was true.

I love cold weather, but I didn't even know it got this cold at the North Pole. I was hearing 20, maybe 30 degrees below zero. I don't even have a good coat.

Don't  worry, I was told, 20 degrees below zero feels almost the same as 30 degrees below zero. Do we even have heat at AM 1450? I was panicking. I wondered why people were asking me: "Have you been here in the winter?"

It's not a joke. It will be below zero this winter. Okay, I am scared and excited. I am going to buy a coat. I will leave the heat on when I go to work, so my cat doesn't freeze. I will get ready.

Come on, Montana weather, come on. I'm ready. I now know that living through a winter in Montana is like a right of passage. Do your worst, Mr. Weatherman. I am a Montanan. And after I live through this winter, I will prove it.

Twenty degrees below zero, take your best shot.

 

Dominick