Snow In South Carolina
After growing up in Parma and spending my life living in northern Ohio, I was suddenly transferred and promoted to manager of a field office in Spartanburg South Carolina. Spartanburg is in the “upstate” region of South Carolina in the piedmont region about an hour’s drive southwest of Charlotte. I was also a half day’s drive from the coast. Best of all, I was away from the snow and cold of northern Ohio. It was the first week of February and there was more than a foot of snow in my backyard with the temperature in the mid teens when I left northern Ohio. When I arrived in South Carolina, it was cloudy and the temperature was around 50 degrees with no snow on the ground. I was beginning to like this already.
I easily got used to South Carolina. The people were very friendly and the mood was definitely more laid back than northern Ohio. People there didn’t seem to always be in a hurry to get everywhere, which was nice. Of course, summers there are hot, but not much hotter than in Ohio. However, the summer heat is relentless and unbroken until mid September. But it sometimes does snow in South Carolina. But they handle snow different in the south. First, a three inch snowfall will completely shut down the city. Offices and schools close and everybody hunkers down until it goes away. Normally there are one or two such snowfalls in Spartanburg each winter, but some winters no snow falls.
After a year, I had a new district manager in the Greenville office who was transferred there from Columbus Ohio. He wanted to call a full district meeting on a Friday morning in February. But there was a snow storm predicted. On Thursday, the reports were coming in from the office in Birmingham Alabama that they were shutting down due to the storm. Then the office in Atlanta was closing early. Predictions were for from four to six inches of snow to fall in the Greenville – Spartanburg area by Friday morning.
Throughout the afternoon, agents were calling me if the Friday meeting was still on with the weather forecast. I hadn’t heard anything from the district manager so I called him. He said “Lee, do you see any snow falling?” Of course, the snow hadn’t reached us yet. But I said it was on the way. There were lines at the gas stations and liquor stores of people stocking up. Then he said “Lee, you are from Cleveland, so what is four inches of snow? That’s nothing.” I told him that this wasn’t Ohio and it is different in South Carolina. He told me that the meeting was still on regardless.
Friday morning dawned and the forecast came true. There were at least four inches of heavy, wet snow on the ground. However, nothing was moving. The city was shut down. But I put the chains on my tires and decided to drive the 30 miles to Greenville for the meeting. It took me twice as long to get there than usual. But when I arrived, I was the only person other then the district manager who was in the office. None of the support personnel were there. It was like a holiday.
He thanked me for coming and we did have a brief meeting between us. I told him that it was no problem for me to drive in the snow since I was used to that from living in northern Ohio so long. But this was South Carolina and there they believed in the “divine system of snow removal”. That was “the Lord put it there and He will take it away”. By Monday morning there was no trace of the snow at all. It had all melted.
The weekend of December 8 and 9, 2018, the Greenville – Spartanburg area of South Carolina got hit with a six inch snowfall. More than a foot of snow fell in the mountains of North Carolina just north of that area.
Lee has been working with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance since he began working at the Erie County Welfare Department in January 1973 where a major part of his job was determining eligibility for Medicaid. He went into the private insurance business in 1977 with Prudential Insurance Company and within a short time had become one of the company’s top sales agents. In 1982, he was promoted into management where he managed two field offices and as many as thirteen sales agents. After leaving Prudential in 1986, Lee decided to become more focused on health insurance and employee benefits. He has advised many local employers on how to have a more cost effective employee benefit program as well as conducted employee benefit meetings and enrollments for many area employers. The companies Lee has worked with ranged from small “mom and pop” businesses to local operations of large national companies. Lee received his B.S. degree from Kent State University where he has been active in the local alumni association. He has completed seven of the ten courses toward the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. He has taught courses in employee benefits and insurance at Cleveland State University and local community colleges. In addition, Lee is an experienced and accomplished public speaker. He has been a member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of “Able Toastmaster – Silver” in 1994. He has also served as a club president, Area Governor and District Public Relations Officer in Toastmasters as well as winning local speech contests. Lee has also been a member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Speaker’s Bureau where he was designated as one of the “official spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” prior to the hall’s opening in 1995. He has given talks and presentations before many audiences including civic organizations, AARP chapters and many other community groups. With the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (Medicare drug bill) in 2006, Lee has shifted his focus to Medicare and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the often confusing array of choices and plans available. As an independent representative, Lee is not bound to any one specific company or plan, but he can offer a plan that suits an individual person’s needs and budget. In addition, Lee is well versed in the requirements and availability of various programs for assistance with Medicare part D as well as Medicaid. While he cannot make one eligible, he can assist in the process and steer one to where they may be able to receive assistance.