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I was wondering if anyone remembers the snow blizzard that
happened around 1957. It happened in March or April. It was during the
band solo and ensemble contest in Canyon. I was a 7th grader, who went on
the school bus on a Saturday to play my clarinet solo. My parents drove
to Canyon to hear me play. Conditions got to be awfully bad with the snow
and wind. My folks headed on home to Phillips, but the school busses were
stranded. We stayed in the college dorms. There wasn't any food except
the candy vending machines. They were empty by the time I got to them.
I'm not real sure about this detail, but I think it was the American Red
Cross who got some food to us on Sunday. The only problem was it was
chicken, and I didn't like chicken. I gladly ate it.
By the way, my folks made it home safely and got my dog,
Sugarfoot, dug out of his dog house buried deeply next to our house.
The trip to West Texas [State in Canyon,
is a big memory of a lot of snow. I know Mother said
later that she said as we left on the bus that she should have sent me
with a coat. Anyway our meal as I recall it was, fried chicken, chips,
apple and a cookie. I remember looking out of the window at the truck
bring the sack lunches but do not remember who brought it.
Enid to me was feeling of such freedom and being with the older kids. My
best memory was watching the Bops perform on the balcony in the lobby of
the hotel and how proud we were of them and the crowd that they drew with
dancing and singing. When I hear the old songs, Enid always come to mind.
I do remember a few balloons going out of my hand and window. Did anyone
sit on the stairs in the dark? They really had a hard time keeping the
I remember vividly the Blizzard of March 23, 1957. We had
finished most of our performances when the snow began in earnest and the
winds were fierce. It was eye-opening for us seventh graders to be
stranded in a college dormitory [2 to a single bed],
though many girls had gone home for the weekend and those who stayed were
tame by later standards. I believe one of the college girls lent me some
jeans to replace my petticoats.
I think it was the National Guard, or perhaps the Red Cross, who brought
us our first real meal in more than 24 hours, but I remember bologna
sandwiches, rather than fried chicken. It tasted good to me. We were in
Canyon two nights. By Monday morning it was bright and sunny and the snow
I'd almost forgotten the sheriff's car with the handcuffed criminal, but
now have a hazy recollection. [one school bus stopped to
pull out a sheriff's car that slid into a ditch due to the icy road; this
provided most of us with our first view of a criminal in handcuffs]
More engraved in my memory is the picture in LIFE magazine of the body of
a young Boys Rancher draped against a barb-wire fence. He braved the
blizzard to walk to see his girlfriend, but he didn't make it.
The snowstorm I remember well. I thought it was UIL
[district contest for band and choir solos and ensembles]
because I was accompanying several soloists. My dress was pink with the
requisite petticoats, and the day we left was filled with sunshine. But
the storm struck, and there we were in the middle of this surprise
adventure. The vending machines were even exciting to me. The storm
roared as the wind blew across the plains with brute force. But we were
safe inside with some great college kids; here we were with borrowed
clothes and a story to tell the ages.
I remember the New Orleans' boys we met in Enid [Oklahoma
at Tri-State Music Festival]. We always had a great time there and
always met boys, but few as cute as the ones from Louisiana. I can't
believe I remember that.
March 23, 1957 Blizzard
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