Speaking of snow

Last night I saw a Facebook group entitled “This winter is bad, but I survived the Blizzard of ’78.

So did I.

In late January 1978, I was a student at Bowling Green State University. My roommate Kim and I lived on the ground floor of McDonald Hall West. The windows of our room were at ground level. I don’t remember a lot of detail about those two days, but I do remember it poured down snow and didn’t stop. Soon, we couldn’t see anything out of our window.The school shut down and we were told by our RAs to stay inside.

Then the lights went out, followed by the heat, the phones, and everything else. We (and several thousand others on campus) were stranded with no lights, no way to keep warm, and no way to communicate with the outside. News from the transistor radio wasn’t good, and kids started to get scared.

Wood County was hit really hard, though we didn’t know it at the time. Before long, the room started to get cold (although I assume we might have stayed warmer longer than people on the upper floors). We ended up combining all our blankets into one mummy wrap, and we huddled together in the same bed and tried to sleep. With no lights and neither of us owning a flashlight, that was about all we could do.

All I remember is how relieved I was when the power came back on, and how I couldn’t wait to call my parents. I had to wait in line at the pay phone — we had a phone in our room, but I didn’t have long distance access (too expensive).

The past few days of weather were nothing like that weekend back in 78. But really, when you can’t get your car up the driveway, it doesn’t matter if there are 10 or 30 inches of snow on the ground.

4 thoughts on “Speaking of snow

  1. Suzanne

    Wow I remember that, too! I was a student at CMU but lived at home so I was OK, but I remember how eerie campus was with everything being closed.

    I also enjoyed your reminitions if anything to laugh at how “primitive” it sounds. Waiting in line to use a phone????? I doubt half the kids reading this log don’t even know what a payphone is except maybe seeing one on TV. :)

    1. Rat Fink Post author


      You know, both of my schools had payphones as recently as last year…maybe the high school still does, I don’t know. Isn’t it strange? What used to be such a fixture everywhere you looked is getting so scarce that you hardly notice one anywhere anymore.

  2. Kodye

    I should start a facebook group called “I survived hearing about the Blizzard of ’78, over 78 times”. But… that was the first time I’ve heard you discuss such blizzard. How long did it take for the power to come back on?

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Uh-oh, sorry Kody! I don’t think I’ve ever discussed it before – at least I can’t remember talking about it when you were in school. As far as vivid memories go, the blizzard of ’77 (Thanksgiving weekend) way outdoes the ’78 one. My family and I were driving back to Ohio from Thanksgiving in Illinois, and we got as far as Perrysburg (Toledo) and had to stay the night on the floor of the banquet room at the Holiday Inn – with our dog and everything! It was awful.

      Anyway, I’m thinking it was a good day, day and a half before we had full power again. It really was frightening. I do remember wishing like heck I’d gone home like I’d originally planned.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.