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Slipping, sledding and slurping joe in the snow

A look at how York County played in, worked around and made it through a snow day on Monday:

Neither rain, nor sleet...

U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Rick Bazemore drove 30 miles to deliver his mail route in Clover.

"I've been doing it for 16 years and never missed a day or a delivery - knock on wood," he said.

In the Piggly Wiggly parking lot on U.S. 321 in Clover, Bazemore exchanged some friendly words with Merita Bread delivery man Kevin Hinson.

"The mailman never quits!" Hinson yelled as he rolled a stack of bread through the slushy parking lot.

"Neither does the bread man!" Bazemore yelled back from his mail truck.

Debbie Melton, a 22-year veteran of the Post Office, was running behind schedule Monday as she made her residential deliveries in Rock Hill.

"You just have to take it easy and be safe," she said.

Feeding the masses

At Kinch's restaurant in downtown Rock Hill, cooks hustled to prepare hot meals for city of Rock Hill utility crews, Comporium Communications workers and others whose jobs required them to be on duty.

"We were open when we had 18 inches," owner Kinch Edwards said, recalling the blizzard of 2004. "We try to make every effort for the townspeople who have to be here."

Extra drivers were called into Domino's Pizza on Herlong Avenue, where pie-makers planned to take delivery orders until roads turned impassable, a manager said.

"It's going to be a good day for us," said operating partner Mike Post. "As long as we can drive, we'll be here. We're like the post office."

Hard-to-find stuff

Customers rushed into Lowe's to buy bags of snow-melting salt mixture, a manager said, and the store sold out of sleds and shovels over the weekend before any snow hit the ground.

Across town at Home Depot, supplies of salt bags ran out by midmorning.

"If they keep buying like this, we may not have many left," said Kim Crump, a manager at Lowe's.

The routine, not so much

At the Times Turnaround convenience store at the normally heavily traveled intersection off U.S. 21 and Business 21 just north of Gold Hill Road, workers saw several vehicles having trouble making it through just that small incline on U.S. 21 heading north toward the store.

"It is pretty bad out there; the road right here is slippery," clerk Judy Davis said.

Coffee and spirits

Baxter Village's town center full of shops and restaurants was quieter than usual Monday, with a couple of exceptions.

Business was brisk at Starbucks, where an employee said the hot chocolate kept flowing.

Down the street at Grape Vine Wine Shop and Wine Bar, owner David Sills opened at the usual 11 a.m., hoping to attract Baxter residents who stayed home.

"It's a snow day, man," Sills said. "Time for a party."

Sills has opened on snow days since the store opened. The first three years, no one came, he said. That changed last March, when Sills, expecting another slow day, told an employee to stay home.

"I came in alone," he said. "I was absolutely slammed."

Monday was no different.

"We were busy all day long," said Sills who plans to open at 11 a.m. today. "It's been a slamorama."

Stocking the pantry

Shoppers in Fort Mill cleaned out grocery stores shelves, stocking up on staples and a little extra.

"We've been selling a lot of milk and bread," said a Bi-Lo employee. "And a lot of beer."

Supermarkets including Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo, Lowe's Foods, Walmart and Food Lion were open all day and planned to reopen today.

Rescuing the stranded

Eddy Evans, operator of Evans Tire & Wrecker Service on S.C. 160 just north of Gold Hill Road, said his workers responded to calls to pull vehicles from roadsides starting long before dawn and have remained busy all day.

"All we can do is pull 'em out of the ditch if they get in it, and hope that most people don't get in the ditch in the first place," Evans said. "But I'll come get 'em if they need it."

Evans, who has operated since 1979, even has offered tire tubes to kids who were seeking an old-fashioned way to go sledding.

And then there was fun...

Sledders flocked to the Rock Hill School District office on Anderson Street and the Winthrop Coliseum to speed down the hills, over and over again.

Technique was simple: Get a good push from a friend and go.

"What do I like about the snow?" said 7-year-old Chase Feenstra. "I like crashing the sled."

Chase, her 5-year-old brother Mason and their 4-year-old sister Danica were among the early crowd at Winthrop.

Mason particularly enjoyed making a large snowball - and then eating it.

"They love it," said Dad, Tim Feenstra. "They kept asking all day yesterday until 10:30 p.m., 'When will it snow?'"

At the school district office, 12-year-old Hailey Blythe was introduced to tubing. Her dad, Lloyd, bought a truck tire inner tube when he discovered sleds were sold out in area stores.

"The secret to this?" Lloyd Blythe said. "Put your bottom in it and hang on."

Sean Robinson, Michael Wingard, and Ben Robertson - childhood friends now in their 20s - took turns sledding down a hill in Clover.

"This is the hill we sledded down in the days of our youth," Robinson said.

Autumn Sterneman, 9, and Noah, 13, Sterneman came along and took a few turns on the hill.

"I wanted my son to come build a snowman with me, but he's watching cartoons," said Jessica Stevens, 25, who was one of few people out walking downtown Clover. "We're going sledding tomorrow."

It's good to have people...

Clover Police Capt. David Dover stood at the corner of Main and Bethel streets, tasked with taking winter pictures for a collection of Clover photos throughout the seasons.

He said Chief Randy Grice would have been out there had he not volunteered to do it.

"It just isn't right for the chief of police to be out working in the weather," he said.

- Reported by Shawn Cetrone, Andrew Dys, Matt Garfield, Jamie Self, Don Worthington

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