Categorized | Editorial

EDITORIAL: A Little Snow

Katherine (Age 9) and Snowman 1976

Katherine Massopust (Age 9) and
Snowman 1976

Back in the 70’s when I was a kid; when it was snowing outside I would hover over the radio listening to WCTC waiting for the school closing announcements to be read on the air. Every kid in the area would pray for at least 6” so there was a day off from school and to have a “snow holiday.” Snow time was fun time. After the snow was shoveled, the real fun began. We would build snowmen, lie in the snow and flap our hands and feet to make snow angels or build a fort out of snow. If there was a real big storm and the snow was just right, we took out my father’s old Flexible Flyer Sled and went sledding. The moister snow was better for snowmen and forts while the powdery snow was better for sledding. I remember a blizzard in the late ‘70’s where the snow plow made a giant pile of snow on McClellan Street after plowing Majestic Theater (now the Cathedral) parking lot. That pile of snow was there for almost two weeks and the kids had a ball climbing it then sliding down.

After playing outside we would come in for hot cocoa and warm up.  Sometimes local kids would walk down the street and offer to shovel your driveway and sidewalk for a minimal fee. Those kids would make a lot of money shoveling.

The City would freeze the Clay Courts down the Waterfront (up until 1980 when they were blacktopped) and people would ice skate there. (Yes, right in Perth Amboy.)

I still remember my parents having to change the tires on their car to snow tires after a certain month (long before all-weather radials). Bigger vehicles such as buses and trucks used chains.

In the ‘70’s there was no internet and there were only 7 channels available on TV (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 & 13). TV wasn’t on 24/7 and watching TV got old very fast.

Things have changed a lot since then. I don’t see many kids playing outside in the snow anymore. It seems to be a lost art. God forbid kids of today put down their tablets for five minutes and get a breath of fresh air. Video games rule the land and the Internet and TV never shuts off.

Like all technology, it’s a mixed blessing. I wish when I was in school that I had the wealth of information at my fingertips that the internet provides. Microsoft Word beats a typewriter any day of the week and Cable/FIOS and the internet keeps you informed of what’s going on in the world instantly.

At the same time, you have to know when to walk away from the computer. Your eyes are not meant to be staring at a computer screen 14 hours a day. That goes for TV and tablets, too. You need to give your eyes and yourself a break.

Take a minute and look out the window at the snow on the trees and the birds chirping away. If you have 2 minutes, step outside. Take a long, deep breath and feel the cold, crisp air. The snow melts very quickly, so enjoy the moment as it passes by. It ain’t all bad.

K.M.

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