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Snow buries Fruitdale, but market welcomes travelers
Updated on: 12.26.12

Editor's note: Brown County Democrat reporter Kevin Lilly trekked out on foot to get this story, from the Fruitdale Market, today. More snow stories will be reported in the Jan. 2 paper (delivered Dec. 31).

FRUITDALE – Jimmy Fox, the guy behind the counter at Fruitdale Market, offered folks who braved the unplowed roads a hot, caffeinated beverage free of charge.

“I mean, I’m not going to sell it,” he told customer Joe Matthew. “I might as well give it away.”

Matthew and Fox were among the few residents of northern Brown County who fired up their vehicles and drove to work Wednesday, as the cold wind blew snow sideways into waves of white.

Not everyone made their intended destination.

The bottom of the first hill from State Road 135 North on Three Story Hill Road collected a tow truck and car before noon. The tow truck, out of Martinsville, eventually got free, with the help of at least two passing motorists driving 4X4 trucks. But it could not move the car, which partially blocked the road.

On farther west, a Jeep sat sideways off the south side of the road. Marks in the deep, unplowed snow showed the Jeep had spun 180 degrees before coming to a rest.

To prevent further use of the road, a Brown County sheriff’s deputy ran yellow caution tape across the aptly named Three Story Hill at the highway entrance. The tape remained in place until a Brown County Highway Department plow truck blazed a path through the deep snow at about 1 p.m.

Fox said he made the two-mile drive from home to work with only the occasional spinning tire. That was at about 4:30 a.m. Less than two hours later, the skies poured snow. By noon, about 12 inches blanketed northern Brown County, like much of southern Indiana, according to numerous reports from Indiana State Police.

At about 10:30 a.m., the agency issued a snow emergency, which limited travel to only emergencies and public safety personnel.

Matthew said he had no choice but to travel. He had several driveways to plow and people to help. His truck with plow out front rolled on oversized tires and blasted through the snow. Instead of riding the brakes, he used the manual transmission to slow the truck while going downhill.

“Once I’m moving, I’m fine,” Matthew said.

Lori Williams of Lori's Ton O Fun Daycare in Fruitdale opened Wednesday morning at 5:45 a.m. as usual and got breakfast ready for the children, but no one showed up. She waited until 9:30 a.m. to go home.

Before deciding to close, she put her truck in four-wheel drive and crept down 135 to Fruitdale Market for a second cup of coffee. Just before pulling into the gas station, she realized she had been going south in the northbound lane.

“I couldn’t see,” she said. “It was just total whiteout.”

Fox contemplated the possibility of spending the night inside the store like he did during the last major ice storm. He had not seen an Indiana Department of Transportation plow truck for several hours, and wind had blown large amounts of snow back into the travel lanes.

“I’ll be here as long as I can,” he said. “I may be here ‘til dark. I don’t know.”

More than one customer, including a family member, offered to drive Fox home. With a number of 4X4 offers, he figured he would sleep in his own bed Wednesday night rather than among the coolers of drinks and shelves of canned goods and toiletries.

By Wednesday evening, authorities reported road conditions were improving, but still cautioned people about driving on the “slick and hazardous” roads.

Throughout the Three Story Hill neighborhood, a few people deployed shovels, snowblowers and plows to clear snow from sidewalks, driveways and vehicles, but the most common sound was wind howling through the trees.

-- Kevin Lilly, Brown County Democrat

Obituaries
See Full List »

Pamela Jo (Brown) Black, 58, Franklin
  Mother of Bryan Black (Tara Hammons) of Brown County

Tad Heminger, 70, Franklin
  Former Brown County resident

Violet Rose “Toots” Wilkerson, 94, Bloomington
  Mother of Ernest Wilkerson (Ricki) of Brown County

  • May 22
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 22
    Morel Mushroom sale to benefit local charities
    9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brown County IGA parking lot, 30 Hawthorne Dr.
  • May 22
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 22
    Wildflower walk at state park
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • May 22
    "Hook" at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 22
    Live music at bar
    7:30 to 9:30 p.m., 10 to 11:30 p.m. Big Busted Bar, 44 N. Van Buren St.
  • May 22
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road off 46 East
  • May 22
    Dave Miller at sports bar
    8 to 10 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • May 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 23
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • May 23
    Yard and bake sale at North Salem Methodist church
    9 a.m. to 2 p.m. North Salem Methodist church, 7718 State Road 46 East
  • May 23
    Art class set for fourth Saturday at winery
    3 to 5 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Studebaker Nationals, Spring Classic Saturday at BC Dragway
    Gates open at 9 a.m. B.C. Dragway, 480 Gatesville Rd., Bean Blossom
  • May 23
    Morel Mushroom sale to benefit local charities
    9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brown County IGA parking lot, 30 Hawthorne Dr.
  • May 23
    Saturday at Brown County State Park
    10 a.m., 11 a.m., 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • May 23
    Yard sale at church includes crafts and baked goods
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m. BC Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • May 23
    "Woman in Gold" at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Live music at bar
    7 to 9 p.m., 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Big Busted Bar, 44 N. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 23
    Live band at sports bar
    8 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • May 23
    Live band at dance barn
    8 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • May 24
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    10 a.m. to noon Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 24
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    Noon to 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 25
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • May 26
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 26
    BC Area Plan Commission CANCELED
    County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 26
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • May 27
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • May 27
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • May 27
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 28
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 29
    Farmers market reopens in Bean Bean Blossom
    4 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 29
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 29
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road off 46 East
  • May 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 30
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 30
    Comedy tour at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 31
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    10 a.m. to noon Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • June 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • June 2
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • June 2
    Bean Blossom Sewer Board
    6:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • June 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • June 4
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 4
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 4
    Gospel jam & sing first Thursday in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • June 5
    Strawberry fest during farmers market
    4 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • June 5
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • June 5
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road, off 46 East
  • June 6
    Shrine parade celebrates summer
    11 a.m. downtown Nashville
  • June 7
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 11
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • June 12
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • June 13
    Open house conducted at New Song
    9 to 11 a.m. New Song Mission, 7202 Keith Donaldson Road, Freetown
  • June 15
    Essential oil class at tea shop
    6 p.m. Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St., Suite C, Coachlight Square
  • June 17
    Hamblen Fire District
    7 p.m. Hamblen Fire Station, 4650 Sweetwater Trail, Gatesville
  • June 20
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • June 20
    Pollinator Awareness Day at state park Nature Center
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 11
    Health fair at the YMCA
    8 a.m. to noon YMCA, 105 Willow St.