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?