Wednesday was the 35th anniversary of “The Blizzard of ‘78.” Check out this audio clip of WBZ’s Gary LaPierre and Gil Santos - yes, that Gil Santos of Patriots’ Hall of Fame fame - deliver the news of the storm to the WBZ audience. The clip is 8:06 long and worth every second - including Don Kent’s forecast for “sunny skies tomorrow” just in time for the cleanup at the 7:06 mark.
For anyone over the age of 40 who grew up in Boston - this storm set the standard for every snowstorm we’ll encounter for the rest of our lives.
I was 12 when “The Blizzard of ‘78” dumped 36 inches of snow in my back yard. I remember not having school for two weeks since February vacation bookended the cancellation of school for four days following the storm’s arrival late on a Monday afternoon. We all have memories of walking everywhere for a week, since there was no way to drive, no T service (at least when in came to buses to Arlington) and really nowhere to go for days. We did venture down the hill to Stop & Shop once it opened to get some basics and hit the movies once they re-opened. But there was no internet and video games meant pong on the second black-and-white TV in the house. That would get old pretty fast - or at least after an hour or two.
We spent those days outside, trying to figure out where to shovel all that snow and then sledding down my street before heading up to the Farm Park. Anyone who knows where that is - knows how great is was/is. It offered - and still offers - the most spectacular view of Boston imaginable and the landscape was covered with white across the 180-degree spectrum.
Those of us lucky enough not to be along the coast or stuck in their cars on the highways in and around the city fared reasonably well despite the storm’s fatal impact, 29 died in Massachusetts. For the rest of us, the storm meant a lot of days off. There was no mass looting, riots or immediate calls for billions in federal assistance. Nor was there a sense of helplessness. When Gov. Dukakis came on the TV and told us things were pretty much closed and most folks were on their own for a few days, there was no panic. Folks in my neighborhood, like they did in so many others, checked on one and another and made sure no one was hurting. We were lucky enough to have power, so we never got cold or really hungry. It sounds so simple, foolish and unsensitive, but we pretty much made do.
Then there was the Beanpot. The first round took place Monday night and, as the snow piled up, fans were warned to leave early if they needed to use public transportation. Most did, some didn’t. Those 200 or so hearty fans spent three nights at the Garden and their story is legendary.
No matter what happens to Boston and Eastern New England with Friday’s predicted massive snowstorm - you just know that there will be way too many folks who say: “Yeah, it was something, but it was no ‘Blizzard of ‘78.’”
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