Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Snow, Pong, & Food by Helicopter

Dear John,
I've let myself rest today, starting with sleeping 12 hours. If I can sleep after sunrise, you know I need to. Mowing didn't happen because it stormed off and on all day. I can hear the grass growing. I'll get to on Saturday, when it's going to be cooler anyway. The storms have kept it cool enough to keep the house open - we've all enjoyed that.
I ran across this photo today, and you know what I'm remembering! It hit in our area the day we were allowed to move into the dorms for the spring semester. I didn't make it to Lexington until the next day. Knoxville was fine, the weather reports out of there were clear, so I kept going. And I hit a blizzard on Clinch Mountain, driving a VW bug. There was nowhere to get off, so I drove 15 mph holding a lighted candle against the window, since bugs didn't have defrosters then. They closed the highway for the night at Caryville.
I got to Lexington the next day. But it was so bad that classes were cancelled for a week. We didn't have books or syllabi yet, so there was nothing to do but hang out. Becky and I came over to your dorm and Kyle, Mike, Tom, and Jeff came down the hall. We all hung out in your room because Larry had a tiny TV. And for Christmas he'd gotten the latest thing - a new thing called a computer game - Pong.
I remember the food situation got a little dicey. One day all the dorm cafeteria had left was bread and powdered eggs, which caused most of us to call Domino's for dinner. Trucks couldn't get through to the cafeteria entrance, so they had helicopters drop food on the soccer field the next morning. That's the only time I have relied on helicopter-drop for sustenance.
Your birthday came and there was still no getting cars out. But we all had severe cabin-fever by then. So we walked to the nearest pizza place - single-file, in the continuing blizzard, each one hanging on to the back of the parka in front, with snow piled up to our shoulders on both sides.
It took months for all the snow piles to melt. I remember we joked about whether they'd be gone from the church parking lot in time for our wedding in May. They were, but not by much! It was terrible for so many people, and for us in transit. But once we got to the dorms it was great. We cemented some friendships that week. And we have stories to tell for the rest of our lives. We survived The Blizzard of 1978!
Thank you for the memories, and for having a roommate with a television! Love you even more than I did then,

No comments:

Post a Comment