Sometimes my dad writes little stories about growing up. That’s when I realize I must have got the storytelling bug from him.
This is something he shared this week on Facebook.
Story, photos and captions by Ronnie Robinson.
”Windy, Your Ears Are Freezing”
It was a calm but frosty minus zero morning; one of those mornings you could see particles of frost glisten in the air as the sun arose. Windy and I met each other at the Laddsburg Pond Bridge. It is the coldest spot in Laddsburg. It was one of those days that was just too cold for Willis Howell’s school bus to start.
Windy, full name Harold Wandell, was a foster child who homed with the loving Effie and Stalwart Carl Norris. He had walked the mile down from the top of the hill. Not much communication in those days and I don’t know if they had a phone but neighbors just met-up. We were there to wait for the bus that did not come.
Windy was one of the older boys that would help put the chains on the bus when it would get stuck in a snow drift. That would be a 20 min delay. But a frozen up bus or bad storm could be a 2 hour delay or a no show at all. Some times we would pile up in Willis’s station-wagon for the first part of the route, then go to his place and see if the bus would start so as to pick up the remaining students for the trip to the high school. Windy never wore a hat to school. The top of his ears were starting to turn white and I said “Windy I think your ears are freezing”. Then we made our way to New Albany.
I don’t recall walking or running or how but I remember us being there and then getting a ride to Wyalusing in a milk truck that was picking up milk from the platform at the bottom of Dempsey Hill. You see, we were not that loyal to school but there was to be a WVHS Rams wrestling meet that day and we were on that team.
Another event I remember well was: “The After School Blizzard.” Mary,Mary Inez Corson and I got of the school bus one blistery evening to walk the two mile (well not quite, it was a quarter mile) up the dirt road to my place. My parents lived there too. The wind was fierce and cutting. It was difficult to see. It was blowing frozen sheets and chunks of icy frozen snow from the fields.The previous snows had melted from the sun shine and then refroze. They were now breaking up and air-born in the strong wind. I think the drifts were making it more difficult also, but the blowing ice and the snow is what I remember most. We had to shield our face from getting hit by them. I was about thirteen then and I felt so manly proud because finally I was able to be ahead of my adventurous mentor and surrogate sister. I walked backward some and I could see her still walking.
Thinking back on this now with a touch of shame I realize it would have been more manly-mature of me to help her.
She may have been wearing a skirt. Girls in that day wore skirts. Sometimes they carried snow pants with them. Also being a good student she may have been carrying books. I don’t remember anything after getting to my home. Mary had to walk the five hundred more yards to her home.
Mary, my forever friend, died suddenly at the age of 56. She donated her body to science. She lived in Texas with her husband. My wife Carolyn and I spoke with her when she and her husband were in Bradford County for her father’s funeral.
The portion of that conversation I recall was about being born again. I hope to see my sister again in the “Land Of No More Storms.”