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BlueWolf's Howl

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February 06, 2003

25 Years Ago...

Today is the 25th anniversary of the "Blizzard of '78"...
Official snowfall: 28.6 inches at T.F. Green Airport, the National Weather Service measuring station. During the most intense 24 hours, 27.6 inches fell, a record dating to 1905.

At the time, I was a senior at Smithfield Senior High School (in Rhode Island). I remember getting let out of school early -- but too late to easily make it home. The bus let us off at the bottom of the hill. It was a steep climb and the snow was already knee-deep.

It was my sister's birthday. She was out-of-her-mind-crazy that her party was going to be cancelled. Did they really have to do that? It's just a little snow...

We were snowed in for TWO WEEKS!!! That's right. We couldn't go anywhere in a car for two whole weeks. But it didn't stop us from walking. (Luckily, my aunt and uncle lived a block away.)

As soon as the snow slowed down, I volunteered to shovel the driveway. The drifts were taller than I was and most of the snow was being shovelled [actually tossed] over my head. I was glad the drifts were tall - and I hid behind them to sneak a cigarette every now and then. ;)

It took more than a day to completely shovel the driveway. I expected the plows to come by any day and dump snow back into the edge of the clearing. They didn't come. They were bogged down with trying to clear Providence out of the snow. Emergencies were declared. Priorities were set. Some new development at the edge of Smithfield was not a priority. Smithfield was not a priority.

As kids we were relatively unaware of stranded cars and motorists, lost wages from work, and emergency medical supplies that needed to be delivered. All we knew was that we didn't have to go to school! There was food in the fridge, the radio and tv worked and there was plenty of snow to do whatever you wanted with it.

The biggest down side was listening to my sister whine about not getting a birthday party on her "real" birthday. No one knew when we would have to go back to school. We listened each day to the school cancellations. I knew we were going to have to make up quite a few days at the end of the year over this. I was secretly hoping...perhaps this will be the year... As much as my sister wished she could have a cookout for her birthday (Feb 6), my wish was that we would be in school for my birthday (July 2). But, alas, two weeks just wasn't enough. We still got out in June.

Yeah...out of school...not out of the blizzard.... ;)

Posted by BlueWolf on February 6, 2003 06:41 PM