Memories From The Past
Although there had been several snowfalls previously in my short lifetime, the snowfall of January 1948 is the first one that really stands out in my mind.
This was the first time I remembered school being called off
because of snow, and I am not sure it was the snow and not the fact that
electrical service was interrupted over much of the area.
Snowfall depths of six
to 19 inches were reported across the state, with the greater depths being
in the western part of the state. Kingsport
reported just under six inches as the official depth, but I am sure the
depth varied in different locals.
I remember the utility and telephone lines in the neighborhood
sagging with the weight of snow. The snow had encircled each line, making them appear to have
a heavy coating of insulation.
Sled riding was easy. If
cars could travel the roads, they just packed the snow instead of cutting
it to the road. Most of our neighborhood streets remained unpaved at the
time, being covered with crushed limestone.
We had no light when it became dark, but I remember my mother
lighting candles, not in candle holders, but set in melted wax in the
center of saucers.
was no problem for us, as my dad, Olin McNutt, Lloyd Light and my granddad
had worked together to install coal furnaces in their homes over in the
past year or so. Heat was by
convection as it would be a few years before my dad would equip our
furnace with a stoker feed and a thermostat controlled fan to move the
We must have already replaced our coal or wood fired kitchen
range with my motherís first electric range, a Norge, because I remember
my mother cooking a stew by using a large cast iron Dutch oven over the
coals in the furnace. She
also cooked cornbread the same way in a large covered cast iron skillet.
I also think she made boiled coffee in a pot the same way. Our coffee pot was an electric G-E percolator.
I donít think we had to worry too much about the milk going bad.
My dad just set it in a covered box on the porch.
I donít think we suffered too much or for too long. The snowfall occurred on Wednesday and we were back in school Monday. A short snow vacation, but a large event at the time.
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