Lifestyle: Snow Job

Lifestyle: Prepare for the worst

I was a new resident of the Boston area in early 1978, having recently moved from the Cortland NY area. I landed a job at the Somerville Boys and Girls club writing grants trying to raise funds or other items through private funding sources. Ironically my job was being funded through a massive Federal grant called C.E.T.A. .

I was very happy in being employed so I made the trek from my place in West Somerville every day to the Union Square section of town. We were housed in the old police station, a hundred year old building held together by duct tape. The heat rarely worked, the plumbing was hit and miss but it was our home.

I usually walked to work , about a 2 mile jaunt as the buses ran but they were not really on schedule. Bad weather slowed me down a bit but I truly enjoyed walking in the mess. As we know however , sometimes the weather will kick your ass if you think you got everything covered.

There was a substantial snow fall in early February with about an 18 inch accumulation. Streets were barely passable as with large snowfalls you cannot get it plowed fast enough. The sidewalks also are impassible so every one is then forced to walk in the street.

I viewed this as an adventure so walking to work was actually fun. Took me longer but got there without no much hassle.

None of us knew it at the time, but this snowstorm was child’s play to what was about to pop.

We now know it as the Blizzard of 78, the biggest snow storm of the 20th century in the Boston area. What I did know was I needed to get to work. I suited up with my outdoor gear, and started to walk. I walked and no one was on the street. No buses, no plows, the town was deserted except for me and the snow. It took me two hours to get to the Boys and Girls Club.

When I arrived, the whole club was empty, the heat was off and it was very eerie . I stood around for a couple of minutes and then called the director. I told him where I was and he was blown away. Don commented the whole city was closed, it was dangerous to be outside and I needed to get home immediately. Easy for him to say that. I warmed up a bit, walked down the stairs from the office and blasted through the snow, which was now worse. The return journey to my house took me about the same time to navigate.

For those who do not have to venture anywhere in this sort of environment, my advice, don’t.

Keep smoking

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