• Mum shoveling snow, 70s style
  • It was very difficult to get out of the door

Blizzard of '78

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In February of 1978 we got something like 5 feet of snow overnight. At least, in my mind at the time, it was massive. The number of days off from school, the deserted feeling of our neighborhoods, the silence, even fact that the storm had its own title - The Blizzard of '78 - fixes it more firmly in the memories of people who experienced it, especially as children. Ask any child who was growing up in Boston in 78 and they will probably tell you their memories of playing in the blizzard, the week that life as we knew it stopped.

My brother and I built a network of snow tunnels and caves in this very bank - only to see it destroyed when my brother had a tantrum and stamped in the roof. Still haven't forgiven him.

jonathanbennett120, amybennett, and 6 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. toastforbrekkie ages ago | reply

    What a great story! Love your mom's fashion. And if she dug that driveway out, I'm duly impressed.

  2. ferrazzo ages ago | reply

    I was in 4th grade during the blizzard. It was great; I remember getting 3 weeks off of school. I grew up in Cambridge, right along Memorial Drive and being able to walk on Mem Drive without any cars was such a thrill. I remember walking to the local Stop 'n Shop -- the shelves were all practically empty and we had to buy powdered milk because no deliveries could be made.

    And I agree with brekkie; your mom was quite the fashion plate! ;)

  3. .Leili ages ago | reply

    Hi toast! (13 months ago - I think that was before I figured out I could track comments on my photos). She DID dig out that driveway!

    Ferrazzo: thanks so much for the visit and the story. It must have been awesome to walk along Mem Drive during this time - it is cool enough when they close it on Sundays, but for so long, mucho fun for kids. It really felt like going back in time. Much more like a village.

  4. .Leili ages ago | reply

    Also: interestingly, this photo (which I did not even take) is my most viewed image of my ENTIRE photostream. I wonder why - are people obsessed with blizzards??

  5. toastforbrekkie ages ago | reply

    I think it's just an iconic photo. And I am SUPER IMPRESSED by your Mom now. Wow.

  6. Cinda LeBus ages ago | reply

    I lived in Medford during that storm! I remember we were jumping out of our SECOND STORY windows into the soft snow which, with the drift, was up over the first story windows! What a blast.

    I also remember the streets were cleared and the whole city stopped. Some of us went door to door around our neighborhood getting shopping lists from the elderly residents. Then our dad helps us tie all our sleds together to make a big raft-like contraption, which we hauled down to Medford Square and we shopped for everyone and delivered it all in tact!

    One last memory of that blizzard was going into Boston...completely empty of cars!!! Weird and wonderful! People were out all over the place walking and talking and HELPING EACH OTHER OUT!

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I moved the very next year after that blizzard.

  7. flarthurhu ages ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Great Storm/Blizzard of Whenever, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  8. Teddi14 118 months ago | reply

    I was in 5th grade I lived in Southwestern Lower Michigan and I totally remember it. You are right the kids of the time have vivid memories. I too build tunnels and we could not get out of our door without a lot of work. We were off school for a week. It was a great time-really brought out the good in our neighbors. Great picture here!

  9. Rennae_lc 97 months ago | reply

    I was in college at Central Michigan University. The cars in the lot were nearly covered. They didn't call school off until 10:00 a.m. I almost got lost amid all the snow banks on my way to my 8:00 a.m. English class, which the professor never showed for. The richer students rented cross-country skis and skied to the bars and discos. The rest of us tried to keep warm in our dorm rooms - no tv, no internet - listening to record albums and playing backgammon. Ahhhh them memories. Did I mention the drinking age back then was 18? The whiskey kept us warm and made the backgammon more challenging.

  10. .Leili 97 months ago | reply

    The image of students renting skis to get to bars and discos made me giggle. I imagine them wearing bell-bottoms and spangled, sequined tops while cross-country skiing in platform shoes!

  11. DjD-567 96 months ago | reply

    Great shot of a time long ago! Another Blizzard veteran here too. I was an 11 year old Enfield CT. resident at the time.

  12. MommaShutterbugg 96 months ago | reply

    great shot. i remember this one that came thru chicago and nw indiana too. I remember being stuck in the house cause we couldnt get the door open !

  13. .Leili 95 months ago | reply

    @DJD-567 and @MommaShutterbugg: Isn't it funny that we all had the same experiences in different place, but at the time did not know that there were so many others doing the same thing? And wow, @Momma - you really were "snowed in"!

  14. pmscully64 95 months ago | reply

    Great photo! Show this to all the New Englanders today who start bawling at the first sign of snow. Most who complain either didn't live here at the time, were too young to remember, or not even born yet! Our back door was buried just like that!

  15. evil redhead 70 months ago | reply

    We were in n.w. illinois at the time and living out in the country on a gravel road. Took several weeks to get the road open to the highway. The kids amused themselves by taking large sheets of cardboard upstairs, opening the windows and sliding down the drifts that had blown up against the house. always a way to enjoy yoourselves in the middle of a disaster!

  16. .Leili 70 months ago | reply

    So great, evil redhead!

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