“You leave snow on the roof for added weight,” the reader said. This is especially important with a rear-wheel-drive car, she added. (Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images)

She was cold. That’s the only word to describe her.

“You must not be from around here,” began the chilly message she left on my work voice mail. “You must be from Texas or Florida.”


She was calling to set me straight about people who don’t clean the snow off the roofs of their cars. I happen to feel these people are hazards. They drive around with a frozen mattress of snow on their vehicles, an icy mattress that can fly off on the highway, potentially smashing into another car.

In a column last week, I wrote: “Why are some drivers too lazy or clueless to clean their cars completely? Who knows. When it snows again, maybe I’ll ask them.”

I didn’t need to ask. She was happy to tell me.

“You leave snow on the roof for added weight,” she said. This is especially important with a rear-wheel-drive car, she added.

Yes, the snow can fly off the roof, she said, but never fear. “If you’re not following closely, you don’t have to worry,” she said. You’ll only be hit by a plummeting chunk of ice and snow if you’re tailgating.

Her tone of voice suggested that if that happened, well, you deserved it.

She proudly stated that she has a Volvo station wagon with 320,000 miles on it. “You bet the snow gets left on top,” she said. “Instead of being such a dimwitted columnist, maybe you should go to the Bridgestone Winter Driving School.”

And thus ended her message.

Sadly, the Bridgestone Winter Driving School, in Steamboat Springs. Colo., is closed for the season, but the winter driving tips on its Web site did include the admonition to “clear all snow and ice,” adding, “Snow left on the roof will blow off and obscure the rear window and the windshield of the car behind you.”

I spoke with AAA’s John Towsend, who pointed out that several states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts, have laws on the books that penalize drivers who don’t clear the snow — all the snow — from their vehicles. He refers to the frozen snow that flies from vehicles as “ice missiles.”

I told him about the woman’s theory that roof snow helps with a car’s handling and doesn’t fall on other law-abiding drivers anyway.

“That’s foolishness,” he said.

Reunion time

Graduates from these area schools are getting together in the coming months:

Anacostia High Class of 1969 — Oct. 10-12. E-mail anacostia1969@yahoo.com or visit www.anacostia1969.org.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High Class of 1959 — Oct. 11 and 12. Visit www.greatreunions.com.

Cardozo Senior High Class, of 1964 — Oct. 10. Contact N. Milner at

202-399-1815 or Joe Battle at 202-531-7205.

Calvin Coolidge High Class of 1944 — Target date is July 15. Contact Al Blackburn at xerxes1952@gmail.com or 410-242-6805.

Calvin Coolidge High Class of 1952 — Oct. 19. Write Joseph Bonnett, 12069B Tech Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20904 or call 301-680-3533.

DuVal High Class of 1969 — July 11 and 12. E-mail duvalreunion09@yahoo.com.

DuVal High Class of 1984 — Aug. 15 and 16. Contact Dana James at duvalclassof84reunion@gmail.com or 301-957-1199, or visit duvalclassof84reunio.wix.com/duvalclassof84.

Eastern High School 50 Plus Club — Welcoming Eastern grads from the Class of 1964 and earlier. May 3. Contact Richard Drechsler at 301-297-7759.

T.A. Edison High School (Alexandria) Classes of 1968, 1969 and 1970 — Aug. 23. Visit www.edison686970.com or contact Barbara (Brant) Dent, 703-440-0451; Robbie Thomson, 703-597-6869; or Joyce (Tarlosky) Scott, 703-690-1287.

Einstein High Class of 1964 — Members of Class of 1964 are invited to walk behind the Class of 2014 in this year’s graduation May 27. E-mail alumni1964aeshs@gmail.com.

Friendly High Class of 1984 — July 19. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Holy Trinity High Class of 1964 — June 7. E-mail Barbara (Andrews) Flynn at flynndenbar@comcast.net.

Walter Johnson High Class of 1969 — Oct. 11. Visit www.wj69.com.

Lake Braddock High Class of 1994 — June 28. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Langley High Classes of 1967, 1968 and 1969 — Aug. 23. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Col. Zadok Magruder High Class of 1994 — Aug. 16. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

McKinley Tech Class of 1974 — Sept. 26-28. Visit www.McKinleyTech74.com or call Yvette Moore Medley, 202-494-7961; Deborah Watts-Dickerson, 202-834-9575; or Judy Bowie-Robinson, 301-518-5109.

McLean High Class of 1974 — July 19. E-mail Angusmclean1974@aol.com or juliecandrews@mac.com.

Richard Montgomery High Class of 1984 — July 19. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Northwood High Class of 1964 — May 17. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Robert E. Peary High Class of 1974 — July 26. Visit www.PearyClassof1974.com.

James W. Robinson High Class of 1994 — Sept. 27. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Rockville High Classes of 1971 through 1975 — Multi-class reunion June 14. Visit www.rockvillehighalumni.org.

St. Anthony’s High Class of 1954 — October, 2014. Call Patricia Keegan Grigsby at 301-627-2957 or e-mail patkg1936@verizon.net.

Springbrook High Class of 1984 — June 27 and 28. E-mail suzan@springbrook1984.org or visit www.springbrook1984.org.

Surrattsville Senior High Class of 1967 — Compiling addresses now for a reunion in 2017. E-mail Donna Day Deters at toots219@comcast.net.

Washington Hospital Center School of Nursing Class of 1962 — Sept 26-28. Contact Bobbie at 301-274-4021.

Washington-Lee High Class of 1959 — Oct. 4. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

West Springfield High Class of 1974 — Sept. 5 and 6. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

T.C. Williams High Class of 1994 — Sept. 6. Visit www.greatreunions.com.

Woodbridge High Class of 1969 — Oct. 4. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.

Woodrow Wilson High Class of 1954 — April 26 and 27. Contact Barbara Berman at barbalk@aol.com or 202-363-2371.

Woodrow Wilson High Class of 1964 — Oct. 25. Visit www.fivestarreunions.com.