As long as I’m on winter things, the Nor’easter and After the Nor’easter blogs make me recall this family story. Stories become lost or forgotten as family pass, so I need to record this.
At the end of World War II, my father obtained had obtained a GI Loan and purchased one of the new post WWII 30X30 homes being built then. We were living in an interesting area, a catholic town, St. John. The town was, of course, predominately catholic, but with end of WWII and new housing demands, a protestant area was being developed west of the catholic church. Directly behind the catholic church was what I call the catholic dump, the place where bricks of the old rectory had been tossed. My parents purchased the new house just behind that dump.
It was a convenient house, two bed rooms, and just a couple of country roads through the hills and vales to my grandparents house in Dyer.
It was a winter evening in 1949, I was twos years old and being “watched” by grandma, while my parents worked. It had been snow when I was picked up for the trip to St. John, a trip of no more than eight miles. We took the shorter route, the usual back roads, snow had been and was still falling. Wind was drifting it into mounds. It was so bad, dad couldn’t see the road, we rounded a curve and hit a drift, the car stopped dead in its tracks.
The car wouldn’t move. A light was seen in the distance. Dad carried me, his 2 year old son with mom in tow, toward the light. Dad knocked on the door, a voice said “Go Away”. My parent pleaded, explaining they had a child with them. The couple let us in, we were given scrabbled eggs as warm food, and then turn out. Back into the blizzard we went. No shelter to be given.
My dad could see another light, off in the distance, they headed across the fields toward it, breaking through the drifts and falling down often. They arrived at the home of a old bachelor farmer who generously let us in. In those days telephone lines were precarious at best, with party lines through out the rural areas. We were supposed to call my grandparents upon arriving home, and we were long overdue.
My grandparents, frantic, were calling anyone across the country trying to find us. As my mother picked up the phone, there was my grandfather, speaking to some one. Thank goodness for party lines.
The bachelor gave us shelter until we could be rescued a couple of days later. Yes; he was a more compassionate person than the couple that turned us back out into the blizzard