Southern Snowphobia II

Last night under a clear, moonlit sky–Blum’s Almanac said the moon was in maximum declination (which either means full or just about full)–the news was all keen on the pending “snowpocalypse” today.  There was snow on the ground when I woke up but my meteorological sixth sense was telling me that this was not going to be a 12 inch day.

Nevertheless, it stayed sub-freezing and spent the rest of the day putting a coat of sleet on top.  I would still be able to fulfill my expectation to stay home, read, write and battle cabin fever. I wisely got in a visit to the dog park yesterday for an energetic romp.  So my dog was content to cuddle beside me and release Eukanuba-fueled gas throughout the day.

In addition to reading two more chapters in my book club assigned book, I ventured out to find my old sled in the garage rafters and give it a half-block test slide on Pilot View Street. Pilot View was named such because at the crest you could see Pilot Mountain on a clear day (that was before St. Paul’s church was built and blocked the view).  But both it and Summit have always been great sledding hills–especially back in my earlier days when winters were winters.

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This much-fretted snow brought some nice sledding that local kids of the current generation have rarely, if ever, seen.  Winters used to deliver more snowfall in Winston Salem–I’m sure it is not just an embellishment of my youthful memories. Documented both in my brain and the newspaper archives, a memorable March in 1960 brought snow on the first three consecutive Wednesdays.  The second Wednesday’s 11 inches brought the total depth to 14 inches.  In all, 33 inches fell that winter.

In my area of the West End, Summit Street was even more popular than Pilot View because the triangle where Carolina split off was where the moms (dads were at work–no telecommuting back then) built the fire and watched us as we rode our sleds down Summit.  We would come to a stop by veering into a vacant lot where Alex’s Cafe now stands.  At lunch, we would often walk down to the Reynolda Grill (now West End Opera House) for hot dogs.

Memories of a month of snow make this two-day snowpocalypse look way overblown. The frozen landscape is already making a fast retreat.