It's just after 3:30 on Friday afternoon, and what sounds like the Blizzard of A Lifetime is headed for my fair town of Baltimore, so of course, my thoughts run to blizzards and heavy snowfalls from the past.
The first big deal I remember was in February, 1958: 15.5 inches, and the thing I remember was being marooned without electricity for two or three days. We lived out in the country at the time (my bucolic childhood!) and the power lines went down and stayed down. Local historians say that this is the storm that led to Baltimoreans freaking out over any snowfall, running to the BuySoLo for bread, milk and toilet paper. This practice continues apace even today.
That was first grade, when missing school hardly meant anything. Ninth grade saw us miss almost a whole week from a 12.1 inch storm in January, 1966. The storm hit Sunday, schools were closed until Thursday, and no one showed up so they closed school again on Friday. I remember being so bored of snow that I actually showed up at dear old Towsontown Junior High and helped the librarian shelve books.
Two storms that always come to mind were January, 1987's 12.3 inches (we were moving to a new house three days later and the first thing I had to do after settlement was shovel my own brand new driveway for the moving men to back in), and the 14.9 incher in January, 2000, three days before I was moving into a new knee. It was tough for Peggy to bring me home a week later with my crutches and the piles of snow that hung around until August.
Valentine weekend of 2003 brought a 28.2 snowfall that started on Sunday and closed my office for three days, after which I came back to work and found my office window wide open. Did I leave it open or did the wind blow it open? Hmmmm.
Of course, the one(s) everyone still talks about here were the Snowmaggedon Twins, Deep and Drifty, from February, 2010. On Saturday the 6th we got a 24" blast, and it was like being in the ocean and getting knocked down by a wave, only to have another wave hit you when you're still catching your breath, when we got 19 more inches of snow three days later. I remember opening the garage door that Tuesday, the snow drifting up over the front porch, and wondering where in hell I was supposed to put all that snow!
So I found a place there, and it melted very quickly.