ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds. One thing that helps tie them all together? Chicago.
With so much collective experience with the city, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions about Chicago to the group.
What’s your favorite Chicago snow day memory?
“Cross country skiing down Belmont Avenue.” — Kim Cavill, Sex Positive Parent
“I remember the blizzard of 67. We were one of the few households with a gas stove when the electricity was out, and neighbors visited to use it. I recall a feeling of real community in those days for the first, and only time there.” — Linda Clark-Borre, Chicago From The Inside Out
“The day after the 2011 Snowpocalypse my husband had to drive me to the emergency room (ambulances were not moving any faster than we could move). But, the plows had only provided single lanes through our neighborhood. After he dug out the car, and I managed to get in, a woman pulled around the corner and screamed at us for almost ten minutes to back up and let her through, while we screamed back that there were cars behind ours and no way for us to back up. A passing pedestrian called her a ‘Dizzy B*tch,’ which to this day remains my favorite insult ever. She backed out around the corner, and we made it to the hospital. Whenever I’m in a situation where I have to deal with a completely irrational and self-centered person, the phrase ‘Dizzy B*itch’ comes to my mind and makes me smile.” — Lea Grover, Becoming SuperMommy
“1978 – one of the bad blizzards. Snow so deep Mom couldn’t see the cross-traffic as she backed out of the driveway, so I got out and spotted for her. Snow so deep that we’d walk along the parkway between the sidewalk and the street, hit a soft spot and slide an entire leg down into the snow, hip-deep and still not touch the ground. My other favorite isn’t really a memory, but the blizzard of 1967 happened in January of 1967. I was born Sept 30th, a wee bit early since I was only 5lb 9 oz. I can only imagine (ewwww) what my parents were doing while snowed in for 3 days.” — Marie Larsen, There’s a Bug In My Coffee
“In the early part of 1994, they closed school for a whole week, not so much because of snow, but because the temperature remained consistently below zero. Wind chills were even colder. My family and I camped out in the warmest part of our house and played a lot of cards and board games. I think it was during that same school year that we also had something like 2 feet of snow in two days. The first day, it was coming down so hard, CPS let everyone out at noon. Our bus got stuck in a snowdrift on the way home and we had to wait a couple hours for another one to pull us out. I think we used up all our snow days that year, because the class of ’94 at my elementary school had to have its graduation at the very end of June. If not for a city ordinance limiting the school year, we would have gone to class into July.” — April Davis Leachman, Chicago On the Radar
“Back in the real olden days, it was the infamous blizzard of 1967. I was a Freshman in high school and had an Algebra final. I was waiting for the bus with a neighbor who also had that test. It never showed. She got her sister, who just got her license, to drive us to school. We figured lots of kids would be late…nope..just us two. The teacher offered us the chance to retake the test but said we both did fine. Apparently she thought a C- was just fine.” — Howard Moore, I’ve Got The Hippy Shakes
“I had to work the night of the 2011 blizzard that shut down Lake Shore Drive. I took public transportation as far as downtown, but realised that I would be late to my job near Cermak and the lake if I didn’t take a cab the rest of the way. Fortunately, I found a vacant one somewhere near Washington and Wells. He drove me as far as about Michigan and Cullerton, at which point the wind was so bad that it blew the cab into a parked car. He wouldn’t — couldn’t — drive any further, and I had to walk the last half mile to the datacenter. This required me to walk *toward* the lake, into the wind. When the wind was just blowing, I could at least take slow, big steps in the right direction. When it gusted? Unless I had a fence or a pole to grab onto, it blew me back, away from the lake, away from work. (Who knew that old trope was more than fiction? Not me, until that night.) It is the only time I’ve felt like the weather might actually kill me. I made it the half-mile without dying. I walked into work cold, snow-covered, and crying — but clocked in only three minutes late.” — Nicolle Neulist, Picks & Ponderings
“It wasn’t a Snow Day, more like a Snow Week. The blizzard of 1967. We all made it home from school/work that day. School buses and cars were stuck on every road near our home and abandoned. Towering snow drifts came up to our windows blocking the sunlight. My dad, sisters and I pulled a toboggan down the main street in town to get to a grocery store about two days later. The shelves were picked clean. All the neighbors got their shovels and we cleared our street since the plows couldn’t get to side streets. No school for five days. A kid’s best blizzard ever!” — Terry Parrilli, Very Terry
“I do remember a couple years ago, when we got 20 inches overnight, I walked 1/2 mile to shovel my mom out of her place! Only snow day I have had at work in 20 years.” — Susan Schulhof, Looking for the Good
“My kids and I will never forget the Ground Hog Day blizzard of 2011. We were living in a little place in Albany Park that we hadn’t even furnished yet. We all slept on air mattresses in the living room. We didn’t have internet or cable, but one of our neighbors was nice enough to not secure their wifi. So we drank hot cocoa and watched Ground Hog Day on Ground Hog Day. Eventually we had to go to Walgreens for more milk. The snow bank went up to the heads of the parking meters… we could have hopped over them”. — Angela Soriano, less than perfect
“Blizzard of ’79 – On our way to a slumber party, my friend Ruth and I stumbled through drifting snow and fell over several times, all while holding humongous sleeping bags over our heads so they wouldn’t get wet. Took us an hour to walk 5 blocks in the snow. I laughed the entire way.” — H. Van Howe, Pizza For Breakfast
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Lead image via Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune
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