Do I Miss the Philly Snowstorms?

Since parts of the country are getting snow they rarely get, I thought I would highlight some of the past Philly snowstorms. I live in Atlanta now, and we don’t often see snow, and at My age, that’s a good thing. That said, I had lots of fun in the Philly snow.

Do I Miss the Philly Snowstorms?

I have to say no, but I do have fond memories of when the white stuff covered the cracked pavements and potholed streets. It made the city look like a winter wonderland. It didn't matter if we had no grass or trees; you could just pretend that under the 5 inches to 2.5 feet of snow, there was a landscape as beautiful as that of rural Ireland.

When we were kids, we would pray for snow. A day off of school and a chance to sled down Howard Street made our little heads spin.  A trip to McPherson Park, a few blocks away, was like traveling to Maine. And prolonged snowball fights made us feel like soldiers fighting in WW2.

Even when I was an adult (Barely, just 22), I had fun. One winter, it really came down. I mean at least 18 inches, maybe more. My brother had a VW and was able to drop me off at work at Aero Services, my first job out of the Air Force.  It was about two miles from the house.  Not long after I got there, they closed the shop and sent us home. Of course, I had no car. So along with another employee, we started walking the two miles in a driving snowstorm that was accumulating quickly.

So in order to cope with the cold and snow, we stopped at every Bar along the way and had a shot of something or other to keep us warm. At that time, in North Philly, it didn't much matter that my friend was only 18. After a few stops, we didn't give a damn about the snow.

People were helping to push cars that were stuck. Generally, when you got them free, the person would give you a ride. When we saw two attractive ladies stuck in the snow, we, of course, offered our services. They were working on getting the car loose, so we told them to get back in the car, and we started to push. It was no easy task. So we pushed and pushed. Then I saw that in the back seat, there were two guys. "What the hell." I yelled to them, "Get the F out here and help." Just at that time, the car caught traction, and the two guys with their a'hole boyfriends sped off.  We got over it and stopped at the next bar.

When I was 17, I was arrested (retained they would say today) for having a snowball fight against two 10-year-old kids that started it. My friend and I were coming out of a store when two kids started throwing snowballs. We reciprocated, and it was all fun.  It just happens that the Police station was across the street.  The police had nothing to do because of the snow, so they thought it would be funny to arrest the four of us. My friend and I had been in there a couple of times, so we knew they were just screwing with us, but the two ten-year-olds were in tears. The cops threatened to put them in jail.  After an hour or so, they got tired of us and let us go. We all had fun.

It was always magical to have it snow on Christmas Eve. One year, just after I returned from Vietnam, it was a blizzard for Christmas. We must have gotten 2 and 1/2 feet. Drifts were up to my waist. My nephew and niece lived around the corner from us on Lippincott Street. True to my mother's way of doing things, she had bought a load of toys. So Christmas Eve night, she and I grabbed what we could and slugged our way through the snow. It was really difficult. I ended up making a few trips from Wishart Street to Lippincott Street that night. I hope Santa was able to get all the good Philly boys and girls their gifts. I know he got them for my niece and nephew.

Do I want to shovel snow? No. Do I want to slide off the road? Hell no. Do I want to trudge through 2 feet of snow? No! But I do want to remember those times I did. Not because of the snow but because of the people I was with.

How about you?

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