Menu Close

In Other News

If you grew up in Northwest Ohio and are my age or older, you still vividly remember the Blizzard of ’78. Talk about a snowstorm. I was 6 years old and was off school for a whole week. We lost power for long stretches at a time and used the oil lamps that otherwise sat around the house collecting dust and relied on the fireplace for heat. We got something like 40 inches of snow and to make matters worse for us, it was super cold and windy so the drifts were insane. Our driveway ran between our house and the next door neighbor, and his house was pretty close to the drive so the snow dumped there and just piled up. Plus our house was in the Maumee River valley so the snow dropped onto our street and couldn’t blow out. Combined it meant that the snow drifts were way deeper than 40 inches. With no TV, I spent my time reading and playing board games with my mom, and my dad was shuttled out by a neighbor with a 4 wheel drive vehicle as he was the town doctor. Four wheel drive vehicles were not common at all in 1978 compared to the ubiquitous 4×4 trucks and SUVs of today, if someone in 1978 had a pick-up truck they were a farmer or a contractor.

As it happened, this week is the 45th anniversary of the Great Blizzard and we got a bunch of snow yesterday. Not 40 inches, nowhere close, but well over half a foot of wet snow. Pretty much every area school was called off the night before and most were closed or delayed for today as of last night. The roads were treacherous as hell, lots of people slid off and most of them were in some sort of 4 wheel drive vehicle because of course having 4 wheel drive makes you invincible. I did some running in my 4×4 and it was still pretty sketchy in lots of places. We never lost power and we were able to get out without any issue but it still brought back memories of that blizzard when I was just a wee lad.

Later in our adult lives when we lived in Northern Michigan we would get a foot of snow at a time on a regular basis and by the end of winter the snow would be chest deep in my yard but up there we were just used to it and life went on. Around here we are far enough north to get snow but not so far north that people are comfortable driving in it. On the other hand we also lived in northern Kentucky outside of Cincinnati and even half an inch of snow would cause schools to close. We laughed that school was cancelled in Kentucky for snow more often than Northern Michigan.

It is still snowing a little bit and with the 6-7 inches we already have it makes for a pretty landscape but a major cold front is moving in so temperatures next week are supposed to really drop. Between school closings and a local funeral anyone that might normally call me is busy so I have a rare weekday completely off and I am taking it pretty easy.


  1. Don Curton

    Absolutely right about no one in the 70’s buying 4WD. There was the start of the monster truck craze which hit it’d peak in the 80’s, but for normal people it just wasn’t worth the extra money. More moving parts, more stuff to break. And when you do get stuck, it’ll be that much further away from the road. Even the farmers didn’t buy 4WD. If they needed to get somewhere, they had a tractor.

    And for all the northerners who laugh at us in Texas shutting down the state for an inch of snow, just remember that it snows roughly once a decade. We have no pole barns full of road salt, no fleet of salt-spreader trucks, no fleet of snow plows, no nothing. And for a once a decade light snow, it’s not worth investing in all that equipment. Better to just shut down for a few days and stay home.

    And we laugh when the weather up there hits 90 and all them Yankees start to melt. OMG it’s so hot. Hell, we don’t call it summer until it hits triple digits. All in good fun.

  2. Paul Bendele

    Got stuck in a snow drift on hwy 309 just east of Delphos. Was, if I remember right, four days before I could get the vehicle out.

  3. saoirse

    Moved from a broiler to a freezer (fairly close to Sido) a year and a half ago. The broiler was majority muds which, as usual, featured high crime rates and low-brow disfunction in every category along with stifling traffic, high cost of living, humidity, hurricanes, overcrowded medical and judicial systems, extremely corrupt cops and politicians etc.
    The freezer is 90% white and has none of the afflictions mentioned above. Sure, we’ve been piled up with snow since November and the daily sub-zero temps are upon us but shoveling and roof raking is like a free gym membership, plus the government here keeps the place functioning on all levels. The people here are reserved but friendly which is fine by me. The liberals are the same gutless twits as everywhere else but they’re not in your face. The only “crime” is perpetrated by the local Indian tribe (mainly against each other on the res) and a few muds and white meth heads within a small radius but nothing of much consequence.
    I’ll take the freezer hands down!

  4. Sporky Boogs

    I was a lil’ shaver Mork & Mindy watcher and the Fundamental Transformation of rural route land was way off but we have photos of snow drifts 20 feet high and I remember sledding with older brothers.
    Pappy was still in the Army and had access to a M35a2 4×4 which he used to get people out of ditches and snow drifts along the road which is now Palookaville, home of the strip mall stoplights where you can only enter/exit traveling one direction due to curbs and other faculty lounge brilliance.
    We need a good Fimbul (Norse) winter to welcome the new lifetime CPUSA voters.
    This two inches of slushy wet snow after hyping up 8-9″ is the weak sauce.

  5. FeralFerret

    Back in 1980 I lived in Houston, TX, they closed the schools and some businesses when it snowed just barely enough to cover the ground. It wasn’t any slicker than when it rained since the ground temperature wasn’t all that cold. Being from the Texas Panhandle, I was laughing my butt off at them.

  6. Phil Ossifer

    I was still in Dayton in 1978. We only got about 18 inches of snow, but I remember that it was warm the day before and raining heavily. Then around midnight the temperature fell from about 40 to 0 in an hour, and our storm door froze shut. We had to chip out of the house just to get to the snow.

  7. MN Steel

    I remember the December after youse guys got a bit of snow (Dec. 1978). I was sitting in the middle of the road getting my picture taken wondering if the Sno-Go was going to chew me up and spit me out, but it took 2 weeks before we were cleaned out.

    My dad was the only person in our little location a mile outside town with a snowmobile, so we were the grocery/hospital delivery service for about 40 people. I think it was something like 80 inches over a couple days.

    It’s colder with less snow in northeastern upper central Swampland, but the sun shines in the winter without the lake-effect Keweenaw Cloud.

  8. Linda S Fox

    At that time, we lived in the Snow Belt, just south of Buffalo, in Bradford, PA (often the coldest spot in the continental US). We had power brownouts, with reduced flow of electricity, that forced us to camp out in the living room, huddled around a kerosene heater. Our dog did NOT enjoy going outside to pee (nor did we enjoy taking him), and he was a furball – a Keeshond.
    My son was born in November that year; the wards were FILLED with Blizzard of ’78 babies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *