By Jim Anderson

Brrrrrr … You think it is cold this winter? Well, back in the winter of 1987, it got real cold, and I mean real cold. One morning I got into my truck to head to work and the vinyl seats broke. It was so cold that the vinyl actually cracked into pieces because it was so brittle. I tried to start the truck and of course it wouldn’t.

I kept trying and the engine was making a funny noise as I kept trying to turn it over. I would eventually learn that the fuel pump diaphragm split and pumped gas into the oil pan.

My wife’s car had been plugged in but it would not start either. I called Kenny at Canyon Auto. He suggested I place a space heater under the car and a blanket on top of the engine. After a few hours the car started. Kenny advised me to let it continue to run—and it ran for three days and nights straight.

I remember the sky during that cold spell—they were “bluebird,” not a cloud to be seen. At night, if you looked up at a light, the air was full of crystals. It was so cold that the moisture in the air was crystallizing.

I was project manager at Hidden Village during that time. For those three days all I did was try to keep the unoccupied units from freezing. Even after shutting the water off to the units, it was amazing how many freeze-ups there still were.

So how cold was it? Thirty to 35 below zero during the day and 60 to 65 below at night.

Now that was cold.

A love of the outdoors brought Jim Anderson to Big Sky in 1975 where his background in construction helped him start Anderson Enterprises, a full service textiles cleaning company he established in 1988.