‘Old Man Winter’ To Speak At Albany Conference
Published January 3rd, 2016
WATERFORD – He is the face of snow, slush and sleet — and, next week, he will be the face of the annual Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Pre-Winter Dinner.
"Old Man Winter,” whose real name is Gork McSperrin, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s gala, which will be held at the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Broad Street in Waterford.
The 77-year-old resident of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. actually has ties to the Capital Region. His daughter, Frigida, is married to Derek Spoons, a snow pea farmer from Cohoes.
"Old Man Winter loves Albany and all it has to offer,” said Matt Clark, a spokesman for McSperrin. “We look forward to allaying any fears the good people of Northeastern New York have about the upcoming season. It should all be good clean fun."
Clark said Old Man Winter will hold a question-and-answer period, pose for pictures with fans and warn youths about the dangers of drugs, adding that McSperrin was particularly “distressed” to learn drug dealers refer to cocaine as “snow.”
“Old Man Winter does not condone the use of controlled substances in any shape or form and, in fact, condemns those who would besmirch the good name of snow for their nefarious purposes,” Clark said.
During winter, the sun in Albany is out an average of 45 minutes daily, with wind gusts averaging 80 mph, creating a high-pressure system that is “really fucking cold and depressing,” said Ernest Forknife, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany.
Event organizers, however, said McSperrin would work to reassure snow-weary local residents that “winter is their friend.”
Not everyone, however, is excited by McSperrin’s appearance.
Brian Coddington, a spokesman for Autumn, said it was “premature” for Old Man Winter to be laying out his agenda when there’s still six more weeks of Fall.