Ok, so it’s another dark and gloomy January day, but 50 years ago today, my friends and I, were jumping off garage roofs, building forts and generally frolicking in 23 inches of snow that fell on Chicago in what is still the standard for record snowfall in our fair city.
I remember, (and I find it hard to believe that I can relate an experience that happened to me from 50 years ago! WTF, right?) walking to class at St. Juliana that morning and finding out from other kids already walking home that school was cancelled. Why didn’t we know this? Why didn’t Wally Phillips tell our moms? But Mark, the little brother of my buddy Paul, was so ecstatic by the news, he threw his books and homework into the air,, the pages strewn all over the alley. The assignments would not to be found until sometime in April.
Just a couple days earlier the temperatures were in the 60’s and people were wearing cut offs. But on January 25, 1967, a predicted four inches of snow began to fall. And fall. And fall. For 35 hours.
The city was brought to a standstill. Side streets were impassable. There was so much snow, we couldn’t even skitch on the back of cars. There were no cars. 50,00 autos were abandoned. My family had just got a little beagle puppy, ( because Snoopy was very hot at the time). The little thing almost got lost in a snow drift. It could’ve happened to anyone. As the story goes, there was so much snow the city put it on trains and shipped it to Florida. But for us kids in Chicago, we loved it. It was the best few days of our lives..