Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Bruce Watson: You call that a snowstorm?

I tell them how strange it was for me, fresh out of California, to see 29 inches of snow cripple the greater Boston area. I recall how I shoveled snow up to my waist, then holed up in my apartment for a week eating rats and mice and Pop Tarts. Blueberry! I tell heartwarming tales of survival, of conquest, of triumph. But I don’t stop there.

Because I survived The Blizzard of e_SSRq82. You remember, oh sure, you remember. The Storm of the Century? When 32 inches of snow fell in a single hour? I recall the snow coming down in buckets and let me tell you, mister, those buckets hurt when they hit you upside the head. People think I’m makin’ this up, but ’82 was when snow came down the chimney, through the storm doors and filled mudrooms from Kennebunk to Secaucus.

I remember reading about a guy in Swampscott whose living room had 6-foot drifts. He survived February on just snow sandwiches and his own urine. Talk about your nor’easter! Whooo!

But e_SSRq82 was peanuts compared to the Blizzard of e_SSRq87. Storm of the Century and man, it was a bige_SSRqn. I’ll never forget how the snow buried Fenway clean up to the top of the Green Monstah. (By then, I’d acquired my wick-uhd Bahston accent.) Yah might recall how they canceled the Sox season that yee-ah e_SSRqcuz all that damn snow hadn’t melted by July.

And who’s gonna forget the poor folks in Dracut who huddled beneath 20-foot drifts all winter and when it all thawed, their town was GONE! Blizzard of e_SSRq87, whooo!

These kids these days. They think they have it rough with their global warming and their Category Five hurricanes. Lemme tell you about rough. Who out there remembers the Blizzard of e_SSRq91? Eh? That particular Storm of the Century turned the Mass Pike into an ice rink from Stockbridge to Boston. And the Berkshires were a nightmare on account of that frostin’.

Sweet Baby James and I, we skated halfway to Stockbridge before we wised up and bought Zambonis. And the snow kept coming down, falling in great vats and sometimes in Dumpsters. We were without power for a month and had to survive on maple syrup. Wicked ha-ahd winter, that e_SSRq91, lemme tell yah.

It’s only natural to think back on these record-breaking whiteouts, to summon the Yankee spirit that kept us alive despite snow drifts that, during the Blizzard of e_SSRq97, turned the Vin-yahd into a slowly creeping glacier.

e_SSRqSpecially nowadays when nor’easters are almost a thing of the past. So when we get a snow dump like last weekend, it’s our duty as survivors of Storm After Storm of the Century to remember. To exaggerate. To just flat-out lie.

That’s why my favorite was the Blizzard of aught-five. Not so long ago, and my kids were old enough to remember. They swear it didn’t happen but I swear louder so they have to listen. Listen to how the snow buried the Statue of Liberty up to her crown. And wasn’t aught-five the one where rising oceans drowned the eastern seaboard all the way to Pittsburgh? And the president came on and told everyone that America was facing its greatest challenge but — oh wait. That was a DVD we saw last Friday. But that Blizzard of aught-five, boy. Storm of the Century!

So we’ll survive the Blizzard of e_SSRq13. We’ll dig out. We’ll thaw out the cat and defrost the dog. We’ll see grass by mid-June and then the Sox’ll start losin’ and we’ll finish rakin’ the roof and get ready to rake the leaves. And by next ye-ah, this Blizzard of e_SSRq13 will be history, ripe for the tellin’.

Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com.

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