Childhood Memories Friday: Blizzard of 78

Childhood Memories FridayThis past week, our part of the country has experienced … well, not a blizzard. Just shy of that (I have been reminded that, technically, a blizzard is not about the snow but about the wind speed and visibility). But we did get over a foot of snow and two days of temps that never rose about zero.  School canceled, all week.

It’s been bad. But not nearly as “bad” as that most famous of all weather events I’ve lived through, the blizzard of 78. I was 13 years old, and we lived in southern Indiana. Here are some pictures, to help you relive (or experience for the first time) that event:

blizzard of 1978 IndianaHere’s our house. On the back of the photo, my mom has noted that the neighbors’ drive, on the right side of the photo, is totally drifted shut.

blizzard of 1978 Indiana

Here’s a view of the back yard. Towards the center left of the photo, you can see the end of the clothesline. We thought it was great that we could walk over it! Also the rabbit cage — although during the blizzard, the normally-outdoor pets were brought into the garage.

blizzard of 1978 IndianaHere’s a view of the street in front of our house. Mom notes that the car there is on the street, and was drifted in place for two days. This was a pretty main street, so I guess it was virtually impassable for 48 hours or so.

blizzard of 1978 IndianaFinally, here are my two sisters, my mom, and me, posing after church in front of a big pile of snow across the street from our house. We have home movies of us kids pulling a yardstick out of the snow piles to show how deep they were. I see that the blizzard was Jan. 25-27, a Wednesday through Friday, so this was the following Sunday.

I remember school being cancelled for many days, and the neat thing about missing school back then was that there weren’t make-up days.  If you missed it, you missed it!

Something related that I’m recalling is that while I was in junior high (grades 7-8; now this is called “middle school”), for a period of several weeks we went to school 2 or 3 hours late each day and had cold lunches each day (I remember the cafeteria’s “fluffernutter sandwiches” – peanut butter and marshmallow cream – yum!). This was because of a coal strike – maybe this one?  I was very happy about the shortened school days, because it limited my time in gym class (the bane of my existence).

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. ~From the movie An Affair to Remember

Did you live through the Blizzard of 1978? If so, what do you remember?

8 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Blizzard of 78

  1. I remember that snow event well! We had the grand opening of the IGA the day the snow began. My dad had to sleep in the store on dog food bags because he couldn’t drive home.

  2. I remember it so well. My dad was stuck at the factory where he worked for 3 days and when he did finally get to come home he had to walk a 1/2 mile to our house because our road had a 8 foot wall of snow blocking it.

  3. LOVED this post….I have been trying to remember the details of that blizzard and had been telling people about how we could walk over the clotheslines!

  4. I remember the Blizzard of ’78 quite well! No one could even go into Roanoke unless you lived there for several days. One very huge block was a unusually tall snowdrift that came jutting out from the hill where Carol Leiter now lives, which was estimated to be 50 ft. tall. Incredible indeed!!! No vehicles moved on US 24 in front of our property for at least 3 whole days or more. I wish that I could remember how many inches of snow came down in all, but that fact escapes my mind. No school for 3 weeks was most memorable part for me since I was an elementary school teacher at that time. Luckily, my husband was a truck driver who happened to get stuck at home, instead of out on the road somewhere.

  5. I was studying in Canada at the time. I think our everyday experience was pretty similar to what you had in the US during that time.

  6. I even remember the extreme cold in Jan. of 1978, clear down here in Florida. We got snow flurries in Southern Florida! i was walking in to the high school in snow flurries and we were all freaking out. I remember going to the home ec room to warm my hands in the oven before my typing class…

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