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Buried Boston Copes With Piles Of Snow


Three major storms in three weeks have buried Boston under snow that's piled as high as Tom Brady by now. And a blizzard's on the way that forecasters say could bring 70 mile-per-hour winds and another foot before the city's dug out from the last storm. What's it like to live in Boston during this onslaught of snow? We turn now to Ray Magliozzi, who is as Boston as Bunker Hill, the T, Ted Williams Tunnel, Matt and Ben, Tom and Gisele, and the hole in Bill Buckner's glove.

RAY MAGLIOZZI: (Laughter).

SIMON: Ray was one of the - I thought you'd like that. Ray was one of the longtime, long-running Tappet brothers, along with his late brother Tom, were Click and Clack of Car Talk, the weekly show that is still in reruns on NPR probably forever. Ray, so good to talk to you again.

MAGLIOZZI: Same here, Scott. It's nice of you to reach out one of us shut-ins here in the frozen North.

SIMON: (Laughter) So what's it like?

MAGLIOZZI: Well, I'll tell you I can't ever remember getting this much snow in this short a period of time. It's pretty overwhelming.

SIMON: How do you get around, or do you?

MAGLIOZZI: Well, you know, it's been tough. I mean, all the streets in Boston proper and surrounding communities, like Cambridge and Somerville and whatever, are already pretty narrow to begin with because they were designed for the era before there was a car. You know, so now they plow them, but they don't really plow them. They just make an effort of plowing. They go down the middle of the street and bury all the cars that are parked on both sides, so nobody can dig out because there's no place to throw the snow.

SIMON: Oh, gosh.

MAGLIOZZI: And so navigating and driving in those streets is almost impossible. It's like playing Russian roulette. You're either going to hit a car or a pedestrian because the snow piles of the intersections are enormous.

SIMON: Now, your offices are notably in Cambridge, which gives me the opportunity to ask can you park your car in Harvard Yard?

MAGLIOZZI: No, you can't park your car anywhere.


MAGLIOZZI: But they are working assiduously.

SIMON: Yeah.

MAGLIOZZI: My wife and I went to a movie and we saw, when we came out of the movie theater, they were using the parking lot - the movie theater was in a mall - and it was a staging area for, like, dozens and dozens and dozens - I don't know where they found all these - giant trucks and pay loaders to fill up these trucks with snow and take it someplace, you know, like New Jersey. I don't know where they're taking it.


SIMON: Florida, Florida.

MAGLIOZZI: Florida, there you go (laughter). And it was pretty impressive. It was like a scene out of, you know, the D-Day invasion or something.

SIMON: Oh, yeah.

MAGLIOZZI: It was pretty - it was pretty awesome.

SIMON: Now, I - there are people who can't leave their homes to get food or get to a doctor. Are Bostonians helping each other out?

MAGLIOZZI: Well, I would assume so. You know, I think storms like these bring out the best and the worst in people. And we know what the worst is.


MAGLIOZZI: But the best is that people do help each other out in this time of need. I think you see a lot of that.

SIMON: I think a lot of our listeners want to know how you're doing.

MAGLIOZZI: I'm doing just fine. I'm doing just fine. And I would want to say to all the people that sent us cards and letters and emails - whatever - after Tom's passing it was just incredibly heartwarming to hear from people to whom Tom meant so much. And I read every one of them, I think. And it took a long time to get through them all, but it was very touching.

And I'm doing all right. You know, and I miss Tom. I'm sure our listeners miss Tom. But, you know, we fortunately have the benefit of having him on tape. And every week I listen to the show and I'm reminded of how much fun Tom and I had for a long, long, long time. And even though I'm sad that he's not with us anymore, I'm happy that not just me, but we all had a great time having Tom in our lives.

SIMON: Yeah. Boy, that's true. Well, I hope we can come up with another thin excuse to have you on again.

MAGLIOZZI: Any time (laughter).

SIMON: All right. Ray Magliozzi, from the snows of Boston - so happy to speak with you. Take care, Ray.

MAGLIOZZI: Thanks, Scott. Take care of yourself, bye bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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