Thursday, February 05, 2009

Snow Memory - Blizzard of '77














I grew up in Western NY. When we were not inventing Buffalo Wings and eating Beef On Weck, our downtime was spent surviving blizzards. I found a cool video of the Blizzard of ’77 – a legendary storm that paralyzed the region for several weeks.



I remember getting out of school early that day. My sister and her friend came to get me on a snowmobile (which they had done before) but the teacher wouldn’t let me go that time (something about the words “irresponsible” and “insurance liability”). When I got on the school bus the sky was blue. By the time I reached Althea Street the sky had turned into a hurricane made of ice.

Walking home was the hardest part. The wind kept pushing me aside and backwards. I had my parka hood pulled over my face and kept a peephole open at my chin. At the time it seemed exciting to fall over as I tried to move forward (a premonition of junior year and red plastic cups).

Everyone at my house had to take turns sweeping the snowdrifts away from the front door. Worse, we had to sweep the roof to keep it from caving in. On one of my turns with the shovel and broom I saw a pheasant slam into Spot’s doghouse. Red head, long tail – everything you would expect in a reasonable pheasant. These birds usually hide in the forests and fields, away from people and neighborhoods. They do not land in yards. That is why I can’t forget it.

The pheasant shook off the hard landing like it was in a cartoon, with dizzy stars over its’ head. A second later the wind grabbed that bird and threw it out of sight, and pitched all 9 years of me against the porch. Pheasants used to taste good until that happened.

I know it’s crazy to admit, but to this day I question the whereabouts of that bird. If you or a friend you know is a pheasant from Niagara County during the Blizzard of ‘77, please get in touch with me about the last 32 years of your life. Thanks much.


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20 comments:

Mojopo said...

i had help with capital letters. thanks much!

no, i do not usually type in lower-case, and thanks for forgiving my shoulder sling. it's going to be like this for about a week or so.

Minnie-sota said...

Great story, Mojo. I remember the Midwest blizzards of the late 1970s. I had a job interview in Western Michigan in the Winter of 1978. The area had experienced a big blizzard a couple of weeks before I got there. I remember being awed by the amount of snow on the ground.

Minnie-sota said...

Vote Sasquatch! The wimpy Whatevers are winning at the moment. Sasquatch needs some love.

anony tu said...

what is this thing you call "snow"? is it something that happens when the gods are angry?

Anonymous said...

I remember some really heavy snow storms too. Maybe it was in 77 also. I was in Washington state and it snowed a shit load. I think I stayed home from work. At the time I owned a VW Beetle convertable. It was an awesome snow machine except when the snow was over the tires....

\\Speedy//

Yvette said...

The pheasant crashed into the engine of a US Airways jet and got its revenge on the wind. It was his kamikaze mission.

Your friend, Rusty said...

January, 1967 Chicago. My dad had to climb out the 2nd story window to dig out the front door so we could get out of the house. Forget driving anywhere. Very nasty stuff.

I moved. Today in San Jacinto, CA:
Partly cloudy this morning. Increasing clouds with periods of showers this afternoon. High 61F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Mojopo said...

rusty, good move. you suck, but good move.

anony tu freeezing in la. said...

in my home town, there was a man who ran a dry cleaners who was an albino. everyone called him snow. could he be this thing you are talking about that you call "snow"? i'm lost.

it's cold here today. got down into the 40's! brrrrrrr.

anony tuu finally having found tru luff said...

in the thread below, post #15. i proposed marriage to ms mojo. noticing she did not answer no. i take that to mean we are engaged. oh, happy day!

anonytu said...

i looked up snow on google images. it looks soft and cozy. perhaps i will visit you all in the north where this snow thing can be found. should i bring pajamas, or does one lie down in the soft and cozy snow naked? information, please.

anony tuu ice cream boy said...

mmmmm. here in the south, we have something that looks much like this thing you are calling snow. we call it ice cream. shall i bring some ice cream when i visit for us to enjoy while lying in your soft and cozy snow. i'll be happy to do. you may like it. it's sweet and cool and refreshing. yes! i will bring ice cream. we can have some to cool off after frolicking in your soft snow. this is exciting. in whose home will i be staying? minnie's? yes? minnie, ice cream comes in many flavors. name a flavor, any flavor, and you shall have it! really.

Anonymous said...

ice cream is an important ingredient in scrotch floats. i'll teach you how to make them. we will have many scrotch floats while frolicking in snow, yes?

Anonymous said...

how rude of me. i forgot to ask. may scrotch come with me to visit you in your snow places? he is potty trained and only gets rowdy when i do. good ol scrotch. say hello, scrotch.

scrotch said...

hulllo, everbody.

anonytu said...

scrotch, do we have to go to the place where it is said that we work tomorrow?

scrotch said...

sort of, anony. probably should goes us to bed. say goodnight to your fiance and hit the hay. we'll dream of the snow thing, okay?

anonytu said...

goodnight to all my fiances. sweet dreams to all. soon we shall all lie down in our pajamas in the snow thing together.

Mojopo said...

I'm going to marry Anony and have 8 test tube babies put into my uterus. With any luck, we will get a talk show.

First guest? His albino dry cleaner. I bet that guy has things to say.

After I finish breast feeding all 8 babies (and Anony), Imma buy a bottle of scrotch and talk about everyone I know.

Mojopo said...

It was 40 degrees in New Orleans? Jesus, I'll take that heat wave and raise you a pair of boots.