Staring at the photographs from the enormous snowfall in Buffalo, I was reminded of the Blizzard of ‘78 in Massachusetts. I was only seven years-old at the time, but I remember it well.
My hometown of Blackstone and the surrounding towns of Lincoln, Smithfield, Woonsocket, and North Smithfield were the hardest hit, reporting more than 40 inches of snow.
I spent days outside with my father, shoveling trenches from the front door to the car, and from the car to the street. Truthfully, I was probably more of a nuisance than anything else, but I remember feeling like a man for the first time in my life.
We were ill equipped for the winter, as was the case throughout most of my childhood. We wore old socks on our hands in lieu of mittens. Hand-me-down winter coats.
I didn’t own a pair of snow pants until by friends bought me a pair a few years ago for my birthday so I could stay warm at Patriots games.
I didn’t own a scarf until a girlfriend bought one for me when I was in my twenties.
We didn’t own any winter boots, a fact that my evil stepfather would later use in an attempt to drive a wedge between me and my father. Instead, we wore three or four pairs of socks and then wrapped our feet in bread bags before putting on our sneakers.
I thought this was something that only my family did, but when I mentioned the bread bags in a tweet last week, three people responded, saying they did the same thing as kids.
Bread bags used as waterproofing.
Apparently it was a thing.