Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nostalgia for the Blizzard of 1975

I’ve experienced very odd waves of nostalgia lately (subject of a blog post in and of itself) and I had just such a wave today when I read about this day in Minnesota History.

1975: The blizzard from January 10 to 12 is the “most severe of the 20th Century,” according to newspaper accounts, setting a low barometric pressure record of 28.55 in Duluth. The blizzard causes thirty-four deaths and over $1.4 million in damages. A train is stuck at Willmar and some roads are closed for eleven days.


It’s amazing what I remember about that storm. I was in 7th grade, 12 years old. As I left Richfield East Junior High (no “middle school” for this boy – no sir!) that Friday afternoon, I was looking forward to the weekend and finishing a book about D-Day I war reading.

As I left school, it was raining. The rain soon switched to snow, and man did it snow. It made life as a paperboy difficult. This was one of the few times my Dad actually drove me on my Sunday morning paper route – in our black 1965 VW Bug.



Back in the day, children delivered papers – must have been before child-labor laws. I delivered the Minneapolis Star, the afternoon paper, Monday through Saturday, along with the Sunday morning Star-Tribune – hmm, was it called that back then? They combined the papers on Sunday, and there was no afternoon delivery. So I worked 7 days a week – amazing. They made the afternoon Star guys deliver the Sunday paper as well, to give the Minneapolis Tribune paper-boys (yes there were paper-girls too) a chance to sleep-in at least one day a week.



Speaking of the old Star (afternoon) vs. Tribune (morning) – that was, to me, a great dividing line between families. Did your family take the Star? If so your Dad probably worked some sort of manufacturing job that started early and ended in mid-afternoon, giving him time to read the paper. I recall all sorts of guys waiting for their paper every day. On the other hand you could have been one of those fancy-pants Tribune families (Republicans no doubt). I believe I only had one friend whose family subscribed to the Tribune.

Further nostalgia: Growing up in the late 1960’s and early 1970s, I recall several other cultural divides in addition to the Star v. Tribune:

Evening News – CBS (Cronkite – our family), or NBC, or ABC.

Toothpaste – Crest (us) or Colgate (them) - - or were you raised by Pepsodent freaks?

5 comments:

crossons said...

The Hobbled in-laws were definitely a STAR family. Jake just worked all the time, so it didn't matter when the paper came! I was very upset when it switched to a morning paper, and now I cannot start my day without reading the paper.

We were a Colgate family, no tv news, and McDonald'd - not Burger King.

amy said...

Yes, I agree with the Hobbled wife. It was rough growing up in a STAR family, however, when you were in elementary school and had to bring in "current events". I was always a day behind in the news and that dumb Andrew kid always made fun of me. I couldn't remember if we were Colgate or Crest, but I think she's right. Did Burger King even exist when we were kids? What simple times we lived in then

whiteray said...

Hi - First of all, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier this year. Sorry about the nostalgia attack. We were a Star family. My dad taught at St. Cloud State and went off to work too early to read the morning paper (though I think he looked at the Tribune at work). Once I got to college and began to head toward journalism, I read both papers daily until the Star was absorbed. As to the Sunday paper before the merger, I think it was just the Minneapolis Tribune (and I recall a masthead way back with the name "Minneapolis Morning Tribune"). Also, it was Crest for us and - living in St. Cloud without a McDonald's until 1973 - we went to Val's, a local burger stand that's still in operation.

Karin said...

Helping my son look for pictures from the Minnesota Blizzard of 1975 for a school project, I found myself amused by your post. Out in the rural area (Cambridge, which is now suburban, but at the time was a farming community)--we got the St. Paul Pioneer Press by mail, one day late. My dad disliked the political tone of the MPLS papers (?!). Totally Crest in our house, and TV news was ALWAYS WCCO, except later (80+) when Channel 11 came out of obscurity. Cambridge, at that time, didn't have a McDs or BK, but we had an awesome A&W that served root beer in frosted mugs and had carhops (in MN!). Thanks for the memories.

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