Memories: the Blizzard of ’78



Blizzard Paralyzes Massachusetts

There is an historical record of the Blizzard of 1978. Mass Moments does a good job recalling the wintry chaos of the storm and its aftermath in the Commonwealth. But we who weathered that storm have our own personal recollections and family stories.

 I remember the Blizzard of ’78 as a challenge to dig out and feel reconnected to the world around us. The snow reached the house window sills. The boys  – Billy and Teddy – were 7 and 9 and they join in the shoveling although they really enjoyed more the flopping atop huge snow mounds. A kind neighbor, a hearty guy, a Mass Electric lineman – the late Charlie Gerrard – along with his snow blower worked from the end of the driveway and then miraculously the driveway and the cars were clear. The thought of my Mother’s homemade fish chowder lured us into Lowell – we walked down the middle of Andover Street from the Baptist Church atop the hill in North Tewksbury to Burnham Road. No cars, no sounds – just the beauty of nature and a bit of huffing and puffing along the way. The boys ended up staying with Nana and Papa through the weekend watching the city’s front end loader pile the snow into mountains at the end of their driveway. They later climbed up and slid down as only little boys can do! My brother Bill – defying the Dukakis  driving ban – ran us back up the hill to North Tewksbury in Ag’s mustang. Bill was finally able to get to the hospital and the office. We never lost our power – which was a blessing as I learned in later years when the power did fail. One lasting effect of the blizzard was our decison to give up our breezeway and add another stall to the garage – a decision we’ve never regretted. For me 1978 was a memorable year but not just for the blizzard. That summer brought a congresssional campaign that I joined and my life was then set on a different course.

Here are some personal photos from the Blizzard of ’78. The first two are of our driveway and home on Fiske Street-  the second of Burnham Road at my parents home in Lowell.