Memories


Sitting here in the sunroom and watching the rain fall takes me back through some of the different weather I have lived through. When I was small in North Carolina I can remember only one snowfall and that was of short duration. There was not even enough for one snowball.

When we moved to the end of the streetcar tracks at Glen Echo, Maryland, just a couple of a miles or so from the D C line, my father and I had a winter of snow. He purchased a sled and we spent many an evening sliding down a long hill above MacArthur Boulevard. Shortly thereafter, when I moved into high school, we waited for the school bus in the small post office on the river side of both the streetcar tracks and MacArthur Boulevard. We had several big snows in those winters. There were several days when school was closed. When school reopened, It occurred to us boys that if we stayed in the post office the bus would go on without us and we could spend the day sledding.

Well, it worked once, though several girls took the streetcar, a long trip, to school. The next day, the driver, Mrs Best, sent a kid already on the bus down to tell us that if we weren’t on the bus immediately, she would bring her paddle (a large flat, wooden instrument kept by her seat) down and beat the daylights out of our fannies. There was no question in our minds that she would. That was our last free day. (It also put the onus on one of the senior girls, who could gin up different scripts, to write notes for all the boys before the bus got to school.)

One of our neighbors in Glen Echo, Roger Tory Peterson, was an ornithologist who had a long toboggan which he let us use. There was a golf course on the other side of MacArthur Blvd that had hills marching up from the river. We would drag that toboggan up the the last hill on the course, pile on and go down and up and down, finally across MacArthur Blvd and the street car tracks where we died somewhere on the circle. We did this until dark for as many days as we could manage.

The school bus took a road that cut through a different golf course. When we saw men with clubs, sometimes setting up to hit a ball, we (boys) lowered the windows and shouted out the window at them about how their posture was wrong, they were using the wrong club, etc. After months of this, the assistant principal got on the school bus one morning to tell us that he had been called about our behavior. No one said anything. He smiled and said the caller did say we did not use profanity which he was glad to hear. He then got off the bus. Winter came and for most of the rest of the year there was no one to shout at. But, we got the message and appreciated the way our principal handled the problem.

Snow and sledding and school bus rides could be a lot of fun

  1. #1 by John Boswell on September 10, 2017 - 4:51 pm

    Terry, I got both of your comments and replied, but hit the wrong button and I have unapprove on both yours. It’s back to my son-in-law to straighten me out.

    I too am watching the reporting on Florida, and have seen the center go right over those small islands at the tip. I’m afraid this is going to really smash the west coast. We go to Sanibel Island off Ft. Myers for our vacation in the summer and that looks like a real target.

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