Winter Fun

A Long Time Ago

Some things change, some don’t.

Heavy snowfalls meant no school, sometimes for several days because the city had no snow removal equipment and if it didn’t melt, nobody could get there.

At the other end of Picardy was Henry Nall’s house. They had the steepest driveway and when the snow packed down (or someone sprayed a garden hose on it during the night), it became extremely fast. And because the sidewalk momentarily levelled out the ramp before the final drop to the street, you could get airborn for a moment.

But in the early years, the street covering was gravel, not the solid asphalt of later years. One of my sisters went down the hill on ice skates, lost it on the “jump” and ended up with gravel in her hip. Not good.

In a good snow, it was common to build a couple of ice forts within throwing distance of each other. A stockpile of snowballs — no ice balls allowed! — would be accumulated and then quickly exhausted as soon as the first one was thrown.

Over on Lombardy, passing cars became targets. The slick street and deep gutters along the sides of the street made it hard for drivers to stop safely and depart their cars — by the time they gave chase, we were long gone.

And if it stayed really cold for several days, Chicasaw Lake would freeze thick enough for skating.

Yeah, winters were pretty good.

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