Submitted by Don Doman
In the 1950s it seemed to snow every winter. Not just a light dusting, but inches. Snow was always fun. I think every car carried chains.
My father had an old Jeep station wagon. It had once been maroon and tan (to give it the “woody” affect), but he spray painted it red and yellow. It really stood out. Later he bought a steering knob for the steering wheel featuring a naked Marinlyn Monroe. I loved that car.
When it snowed four to six inches, Dad would drive the Jeep, while I rode on my sled, which was tied to the back bumper. With snow flying we would go around corners and travel the roads between South Ferry and Allenmore Golf Course. My mom sometimes rode the sled, while I sat on the tailgate. Or sometimes my best friends David (four years older) and Kathleen (two years older) Biddison would ride the sled. They lived next door. I think my mom is the only one who ever fell off (while I was Super8 filming her ride). Pulling a sled on the road wouldn’t happen today, but it was sure exciting then.
I remember a blizzard a few years before the sledding, when my mom carried me in deep snow (at least a foot) to stay with the Biddison’s, while she went to work. This would have been 1949 perhaps. I also remember a big snow when I was in the 7th grade and living in Ponders Corner (1959?). As an adult I remember a big snow in 1968 while we were living on Long Lake in Kitsap County. The snow stayed around under the evergreens for what seemed like months. There was a deep snow in the early 70s and in the mid-80s and again the mid-90s.
The last good snow day for me was in 2013. We had four grandchildren staying over. Bella and Sophia Doman, daughters of our oldest son, and Riley and Laci, son and daughter of our youngest son. It not only reminded me of the joy of snow in all its glory, but family fun. We didn’t pull a sled behind my Buick, but the kids did retrieve my old sled from 1950. I still have it hanging on a beam under our carport. The kids were throwing snowballs and had a great time. They carried the sled with piles of snow on it to make a fort. When it snows here in the multiple inches range, it gets quiet. The number of cars on the road diminish and this lets the shrill laughter of young girls echo across the little valley of North Ferdinand.
We’ve always made sure that the cousins have good times together. Playing with my cousins was part of growing up. Eventually, our son Del stopped by to take photographs and pick up his brood. I think he was pelted with snowballs from everyone . . . perhaps, even me. Del is a great father and uncle. He loves those children. We love our family. OMG I might be wishing for snow . . . maybe next year.