my account of the Blizzard of 1978

screen800x500~in a blizzard where i want to stay

INTRODUCTION

In 1978 I worked in a psychiatric nursing home. One of the patients punched me in the face and broke my plastic framed glasses and drove it into my left eye. I went to the ER. The Ophthalmologist said that I may have a detached retina, but the area was too enflamed to make any determination.

“Go home and rest. No reading.” He squirted some goo in my eye, put a patch on it and made an appointment for February 5 1978 at 10 am at the Fallon Clinic.

THE BLIZZARD

On Monday February 5th two of my nine housemates took me to the appointment, one driving his car and other driving my car.

 Snow fell, and it was a storm like any other. The waiting room of the Fallon Eye Clinic was in a basement and was without windows. The doctor had had an emergency at the hospital so my appointment was pushed back to 11:30 am.

No detached retina, my eye was fine.

I put my coat on and stepped out of the waiting room. White-Out. I barely found my car the snow was everywhere, visibility was maybe five feet at best. I drove, inched home. I lived in a house with nine others two toddlers and an infant and Monday was our food shopping day. When two of the shoppers arrived home from the supermarket with some food they said that the store was being closed due to the blizzard.

We went to Spags (of Worcester, MA) – they said – open for emergencies only. We didn’t have enough food that was our emergency. We went to a deli on Water Street, our last stop before hunkering down in the storm.

One of my housemates was trapped at his parents’ house and delivered groceries to customers from their corner store on a snowmobile.

Four to five feet of snow fell. People died in their cars on the Mass Pike.

Giant bucket lifters cleared the road; piling snow up on either side of 20 to 25 feet high. It took me three days to dig out my little VW bug. And it had a flat tire.

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