One of the best things that could happen to a 70s kid was waking up to a nice blanket of fresh snow, then hearing their school’s name mentioned on the radio. It didn’t always turn out that way, but when it did, snow days could be magical.
Sometimes it was snowing when you went to bed, sometimes the morning was a complete surprise. If it looked like enough accumulated, or it was still snowing hard, it was time to turn on the radio.
It could seem like hours in between, but usually every 15 minutes or so, the stations would begin a long recitation of school districts. Each time through, more were added, so if you didn’t hear yours the first time, you could still retain some hope.
If they say the words you desperately wanted to hear, you moped for the rest of the morning, feeling cheated of your reprieve. If you heard your school though, the whole world changed, especially if you had a test scheduled that day.
Your freedom earned, it was time to pull out the sleds and start making snowballs, assuming you could get out the front door, that is.
If it was a bad enough storm, it might take some time to get those roads plowed, which meant … more snow days!
Through most of the 70s, the winters on Long Island was pretty mild, from 1970-77. In fact, only one storm during that period surpassed 6 inches – one in February 1975 that brought just over 7.
All that snow that Long Island didn’t get in the first 7 years of the 70s decade came in 1978.
Almost 14″ arrived in a late January storm. Two weeks later, another 17″ arrived, a storm affectionately known as the Blizzard of 1978. Suffice to say, we got our share of snow days in 1978.
Wrapping up the decade, another storm brought over a foot in 1979. It wouldn’t be until 1983, that Mother Nature unleashed another mammoth on the island.
Through all of it, we got a handful of unexpected vacations, an unexpected day of play. I don’t think any of us ever complained.
Do you have fond memories of any snow days on Long Island. I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.