Two snow days were better than one

Published 3:01 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

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As Rose Ann and I walked to John Small School in the morning we could see Horace shoveling coal into the furnaces at Washington High School.  The coal was used to heat the entire building through radiators in every room.  The overcast sky could mean snow to an area that was not used to getting snow.

The first flake of snow exited everyone in my class – including the teacher! If it snowed just a little, we would get out school for the day.  If it snowed more than an inch, we might be out for a couple of days. The teachers knew we had to make it up, but none of us really cared.  The more it snowed, the Superintendent had to let us go home because he would be afraid of school buses wrecking.  Remember, back then we had students driving school buses and they were some of the best drivers in the school.  Still, they had the most precious cargo a man and women had, their children.

As soon as we got home, we were glued to the television. We would watch Channel 7 or Channel 9, the only two channels we had back then, to see if we got another day out of school.  We could tell by the amount of snow that fell whether we got two days or one day out of school.  Still, it was better to see closures on television.

Bundled up, we would go outside to our forts and build a fire to stay warm.  Bubba and I had stored plenty of wood up in case it rained or snowed.  If we had the next day out of school, we would head to Runyan Hills to slide down Mary Tucker’s hill in our cardboard boxes.  We hoped that our boxes would last all afternoon because we did not have sleds.

Back at home, Mother took great pride in our home and took extra pride in keeping it dry and clean. We had to remove our clothes and place them over heating vent to stay dry until the next day. Our boots stayed by the back door on paper so that they would not get the floor wet. We watched TV to let us know if we had another day out of school and hopefully, we did. Sometimes we made those days up on Saturday and others by extending the school year.  Either way, none of us minded a couple days break before Easter.

Now, we have multiple channels on our TV sets and even our phones can tell us when snow might arrive, but back then we had Horace shoveling coal to keep the high school warm. That was enough for Rose Ann and me.

My friend, Coach Larry Sipe, who shares his thoughts about my scribbling, lives in the western part of the state, where they can get more snow than Beaufort County.  Coach, I really appreciate you texting me about my articles just like I do Ben and John.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!