CNJ readers snow how to handle the weather

Josh Martinez of Clovis sails through the air toward a patch of snow Saturday, after being unexpectedly separated from his skateboard. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

Project: Reader Reaction

Project: Reader Reaction participants were recently asked for snow stories. Some responses:

“I spent most of my elementary school years in North Dakota, so snow days (that canceled school) were not uncommon. We would spend all day outside building snow caves, snowmen, and sledding (there was enough snow for all that and more). We would go inside soaking wet and freezing, but exhilarated. Of course in North Dakota it practically takes a blizzard to have a snow day. I still remember what it was like to have all that snow, but I have also lived here for the past 15 years, so I get excited with any amount of snow we get here.”
— Amy Graves, Clovis

“I have a faint memory of the snow of 1923 (probably our worst winter in this area) and many memories of riding the school buses (with) no heaters. The driver would encounter snow drifts that he was unable to break through. Tractors had not become a part of farm life at that time. Our only out was to get help with a team of horses. Sometimes they could pull the bus out but there were times that a sled was required to get the school children home.”
— Mac McDonald, Clovis
“When my father built his home in the outskirts of Ilion New York, the only road was one of dirt. The village did provide snow plowing of this road, which was very important to those that live on it.
“Since my dad had just built this home and winter came before he could erect a proper mail post, he stuck the mailbox on a concrete block. The (postal carrier) had to be able to reach the box from (his) car window. My dad would each morning move the box to the plowed road to facilitate delivery.
“This worked very well until springtime when — much to our amazement — the mailbox and road now were 25 feet on the other side of the dirt road in a field.”
— Jim Sitterly, Clovis

“While I still lived in California, I usually took my vacation in December so I could spend Christmas in Clovis with my son and parents. On the way back to California after Christmas one year, it snowed on me all the way to Flagstaff, Ariz.
“The roads were covered in snow in Flagstaff and I was afraid to stop for the night in case I wouldn’t be able to get out in the morning.
“I took a deep breath, offered up a prayer and continued west (without chains for the car). I lucked out and ended up behind a big rig, which made nice wide tracks for me to stay in.
“The semis headed east kept spraying my little Toyota with slush and mud, but I kept the windshield wipers going and I made it through.
“I don’t ever want to do that again.”
— Ardyth Elms, Clovis