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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)

TITLE: Blizzard Of 1966
By PamFord Davis


It can be very frustrating to try and explain a personal experience. We have so much we want to share; desiring others to get the full impact of how much it touched us. At times we would be better off to just throw up our arms in defeat and say “You just had to be there!” Unless you were involved in the great blizzard of 1966 you can’t fully understand the magnitude of snow that shows no signs of stopping!

People that grow up in the Snowbelt in the northeastern states are accustomed to dealing with frigid temperatures, cutting winds, snow and ice. They don’t have to like it; they do have to deal with it. It is not unusual to get as much as twenty five inches of fresh snow fall over night. A winter wonderland greets blurry eyed commuters and they place their confidence in state road crews to keep highways plowed, salted and open to traffic. Even the most experienced Yankee is unprepared for surprise blizzards!

To many people the blizzard of 1966 was deadly dangerous. Even the best snow plows could not handle so much snow, so fast! When the storm unleashed its full force most people were snowed in wherever they were. My father, employed as a second shift security guard could not return home. Not only was traffic brought to a virtual stand still the experienced dairy farmer was forced to admit feelings of helplessness to gain control over nature. In our small neighborhood two dairy farms dumped milk on snow covered earth. Trucks could not pick up their daily supplies, and with no ample storage facilities they had no alternatives.

There is always a silver lining and the blizzard was a delight in the small village of Chittenango, NY! It was not a beach party of the 60’s; it was a snow party! Vehicles could not safely travel through downtown; but adventurers on snow skis did! My older sister lived in a downstairs apartment on Main Street. While we were snowed in there, we had a front row seat to view the blizzard and the curiosity seekers out to see things for themselves. My niece and nephew were toddlers and we took them out to play. My nephew Mark walked right off the open porch and into deep snow. Who says playing in the snow only entertains children? Watching him had all of us in stitches!

At the age of seventeen I had an extra special bonus. My boyfriend was there, too. We had a romantic evening by the fireplace and then he slept upstairs with the neighbors. There was also a “Happy Days” surprise. All towns offered at least one or two soda shops. This was in the “BFF” era, before fast foods! Chittenango had two hang outs for the young people, “Jim’s” and “Ken’s.” The owners were snowed in with us, and kept their shops open.

I am now a converted southerner and gladly avoid the ravages of winter. Snow on greeting cards, in paintings, or in holiday movies is enough to keep the Yankee within satisfied. I have my memories of the great blizzard. Yes, I guess you just had to be there; and I was!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 08/20/09
This read like an entry in a diary to me. Although I enjoyed it because I grew up in a Chicago suburb--and could recall similar scenes--I think the story needs a bit of life pumped into it.
Yvonne Blake 08/25/09
Good memories!
Lisa Johnson08/27/09
As a Southerner, who hardly ever saw snow, I enjoyed the mental images your entry brought to my mind... 1968... 18 inches in Memphis on the first days of spring is about as close to your story as I have ever come. (But that was a rare and wonderful occurance.)
Val Clark08/27/09
Lots of interesting information there. Have you thought about taking your experiences and creatively crafting them into a ficional story?