Storms

Blizzard of '78

 ... good thing I'm a nurse

by Nancy J. Brissette

This memory of the blizzard of 1978 is being written during the blizzard of February 16/17, 2003. As I watch the snow literally blowing sideways, I wondered whether 1978 was indeed going to be repeated. Actually I still remember the blizzard of February 1940!

You recall that after the 1978 blizzard, for a week the streets were patrolled by the National Guard, allowing only emergency vehicles on the streets.

My sister was coming from Virginia to help our mother move from her family home in Salem, Massachusetts to an apartment in Virginia. She was only able to get to Wellington Circle by the "T" from Logan Airport. From this point, our family was hoping to pick her up and eventually get her to Salem. The question was how to do this with all those soldiers out there.

I am a nurse and, although I was not on duty that day, I dressed in full uniform, cap, white dress, shoes, etc. and prayed that we could be passed through the check points. We started out about 2 p.m. and we were stopped on Fellsway East just before the Malden Hospital. I told the soldier that I had to get to the hospital. He let us go on. We picked up my sister without incidence but now the big dilemma was how could we go back the same way and possible be stopped by the same soldier! What do I say then?

Fortunately we were able to go a different route and we were not stopped on the way home.

My sister from Virginia was totally overwhelmed by the amount and beauty of the snow, the presence of the National Guard and the absolute silence of the city.

It was a truly awesome experience.

March 7, 2003


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