Thursday, April 10, 2008

1966 and All That

The abandoned railroad bridge in Manlius, 1971

When I Googled for The Magic Toy Shop last night, I happened across a link for a YouTube clip from the same Syracuse broadcaster about the Blizzard of '66. I've written about that storm before, thus:

In late January 1966 I was a little short of nine years old. The Blizzard of '66 was a big deal at the time, as big as the Great Blackout of '65 had been. That Sunday morning, we could see it was more than just a snowstorm. My dad drove up to the P&C in Manlius right after the snow plow made F-M Road temporarily passable. Dad's Rambler American was part of a line of cars that followed the plow into the village. Dad wanted to stock up on bread and milk, in case we couldn't get out again for the next several days. I didn't understand why he was doing it. I figured the P&C wouldn't even be open, because this was in the era of Sunday Blue Laws. But I guess the P&C opened for blizzards, even on a Sunday, because Dad returned with the bread and milk, and a story about how many other people were at the P&C doing the same thing.

The oldest photo I have to illustrate this memory, seen above, is from five years later, when I got first a hand-me-down cheap plastic camera from my dad, and then his old Instamatic, which believe it or not was a step up. (My next camera was a Poloroid One Step, but I think that wasn't until college.) I've never had anything but my memories to go on in writing about the Blizzard of '66 - until now. I don't know whether the following has been online all along, waiting for me to notice. I suspect not.

(Left: a lamppost at Niagara Falls, February 1986)

First: a photo gallery on None of the shots are from Manlius, as far as I can tell, but several of them might as well be, especially the ones of sidewalks hemmed in by walls of snow. I'm not going to infringe on their copyright by posting one of the pictures here, but do go take a look!

Next: the YouTube clip. It confirms my memory: the warning came the last Saturday in January, and the storm really hit on Sunday. We were all snowed in for a week. The reporter mentions that the facilities for digging out improved dramatically in succeeding decades.

There's also someone's 8 mm footage of kids playing in the snow, but the picture quality is so poor that it's not terribly illuminating.

That's it for tonight. I had a three hour nap earlier, and I don't want to waste it by staying up any later! But having had my memory jogged last night about the blizzard, I wanted to share my finds with you.


1 comment:

bea said...

In 1966 I was 13 years old... I think we must have been living in Berlin at the time. Prior to that we had been living in NH, but I don't recall any memories of a blizzard. Lots of snow, but I don't remember being snowed in, or a week of snow days, so I'm thinking we just missed it. Too bad, I would have loved it! I read the entry you linked here, and left a comment there.. that was some time ago! bea