Bradenton, Florida

I got out of school about twenty minutes early the day of the blizzard. Wow! Twenty minutes early! That was really something for Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket in the late '70s. I lived in Rumford, over by the Narragansett Race Track, and took RIPTA to get to school and back. This day was no different. Well, maybe a little different. I trudged my way through the snow that was accumulating really fast and caught the bus just in time. Everyone else in Pawtucket also seemed to be going home because it was standing room only. Luckily I knew the bus driver and he let me squeeze on. Actually, I was standing on the next-to-bottom step of the entrance to the bus. That is how full it was!

The snow continued to fall on the roads, and the roads continued to fill up with cars. The traffic was so slow, that the bus had stopped for at least five minutes when I suggested that walking would probably be faster. The bus driver jokingly suggested that I try it. I took him up on the suggestion with one assurance from him: If he caught up to me, he would stop and let me back on without having to pay again. He agreed, and off I went. I walked for about five minutes when the bus stopped to pick me up. A couple of minutes later, he was stalled in traffic again. So I started to walk again. Walk. Ride. Walk. Ride. I alternated walking and riding the bus all the way back to... (What was the name of that restaurant on Newport Avenue on the Rumford/Pawtucket line? You know the place. Watch black and white cartoons while shelling peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor, while drinking a soda and waiting for an order of fries. Was it the Ground Round?) Between walking, riding, and waiting for traffic, it took me about two hours to get home from school that day. I think the bus driver enjoyed the trip as much as I did, wondering when we would meet up again and for how long. The other riders on the bus didn't seem to mind the frequent stops to pick me up again (and again, and again.) They actually seemed to think it was funny.

Over the next few days, while everyone was digging out, I remember walking over to the Star Market and just catching the milk delivery truck in the parking lot. He was either selling the milk from the truck, or giving it away, I don't remember which. I also remember a local drug store gouging people for things such as milk and bread. My family never shopped there again.

The Great Blizzard of '78 45 label

I also remember running across a 45 (you know, a pre-CD musical disc that used a needle to play the music) that was called "The Great Blizzard of '78." I think I still have it somewhere packed in a box. I looked for the lyrics on the Internet, and this was the first time I haven't been able to find any mention of something that I have searched for. The lyrics were so campy that you can't mistake them for any of the other Blizzard of '78 songs out there.

Early on the sixth in the year, second month,
In the winter like none to date,
Came the news in the ear, a storm was near,
'Twas the Blizzard of '78.

Received via email, May 20, 2003.

Sun, 03/05/2023 - 02:04