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Snow Ball Battles
Dec 30, 2005: Email from Don S...
Daniel Carter Beard was born in 1850 and died in 1941. There is a
bridge over the Ohio River at Cincinnati named for him. He was far more
influential in my life and in the lives of other kids I grew up with in
Brookline than I ever knew until recently This is because, I would
guess, that I never really heard his name much when I was growing up.
His name was only vaguely familiar to me via information we were given
as Cub Scouts in Pack 18 at the Presbyterian Church at the end of the
Boulevard in the 1940s.
What I do remember about the little workbooks we were given (they had
names like Wolf, Bear, Lion etc.) is the sketches in them. Some of the
very best sketches were attributed to "Uncle Dan Beard". Three of us
(Jim Addis, Phil Covato, and self) were sensitized toward good quality
pencil sketching. We three would spend hours flopped on a floor in the
cold months making endless pencil sketches, usually accompanied by some
sort of running narration. There were two older sisters (Anita Covato
and Julianne Addis) who had lots of talent for making good pencil
sketches - I guess they were the source of our inspiration.
Dan Beard was raised in Covington, Kentucky, across the river from
Cincinnati. As he grew older, he became aware that boyhood pastimes and
skills he had learned were not being passed on to boys who were growing
up in the cities of the USA where open woods no longer existed. He made
all kinds of sketches showing these outdoor activities, and he recorded
all sorts of details about the skills. One of the first books he
published (in 1882) was called The American Boys Handy Book. His books
sold well and he decided to create (in 1906) an organization he called
"Sons of Daniel Boone" to teach these skills. one example of the skills
he taught was how to hit a target by throwing a hand axe or tomahawk.!
Shortly afterward an army officer in England named Baden-Powell
(1857-1941) formed a new organization he called "Scouts" to teach
quasi-military skills (i.e. signaling, map reading, etc.) - one thing
led to another and Beard's organization was merged with the English
version into something called the "Boy Scouts of America" by combining
his ideas with those of Baden-Powell. The handbooks we were given in
the 1940s, and the uniforms we wore at those Cub and Scout meetings,
were by-products of this unified endeavor of Beard & Baden-Powell.
In our Berwin-Birtley-Berwin neighborhood (+ Gallion + Pioneer) in the
northern part of Brookline, everything we did as boys was centered in
The Big Woods at the foot of Birtley, mostly during the warm months. It
was an obvious place where the skills and activities of Dan Beard could
be implemented. In 2005, I renewed a friendship with Art Rosfeld, a
neighbor on Beaufort. During our visit he showed me a wonderful photo
of a snow fort in his family's front yard being attacked in a great
snow ball battle. After seeing that photo, I googled The American Boy's
Handy Book . There I discovered a complete treatise about snow forts
and how they are to be attacked, written by Dan Beard many decades
Of course, we never knew about Dan's written rules because the rules we
used were passed on generation to generation, by the "Big Kids" to the
The following was written by Dan Beard...
Quote - The rules of warfare governing a snowball battle are as follows:
Sides are divided by Patrols. The defenders of the fort it being
supposed that one-third behind fortifications are equal to two-thirds
outside. One Patrol might defend the fort, while two Patrols can join
forces to attack. The Patrol Leaders decide, by lot, the choice of
position. Only the attacking party is allowed shields and ammunition
At least thirty yards from the fort a camp must be established by the
outsiders or attacking army, and stakes driven at the four corners to
locate the camp. Imaginary lines from stake to stake mark its limits.
Each party will have its Patrol Flag which it carries with it in the
assault. The defenders of the fort must see to it that all damages to
the fortifications are promptly repaired.
Any soldier from the fort who shall be carried off within the limits of
the camp becomes a prisoner of war, and cannot leave the camp until
rescued by his own comrades.
Any one of the attacking force pulled into the fort becomes a prisoner
of war, and must remain in the fort until it is captured. Prisoners of
war cannot be made to fight against their own side, but they may be
employed in making snowballs or repairing damages to fortifications.
Any deserter recaptured must suffer the penalty of being made to work
with the prisoners of war.
When the outsiders, or attacking army, can replace the enemy's colors
with their battle-flag, the fort is captured and the battle is won by
the attacking party; all fighting must then immediately cease.
But if, in a sally, or, by any means, the soldiers of the fort can take
the colors of the opposite party from the camp and bring them inside
their fortifications, they have not only successfully defended their
fort, but have defeated the attacking army; and this ends the battle,
with double honors to the brave defenders.
No water-soaked or icy snow-balls are allowed. No honorable boy uses
them, and any one caught in the ungentlemanly act of throwing such
"soakers" should be forever ruled out of the game.
No blows are allowed to be struck by the hand, or by anything but the
regulation snowball, and, of course, no kicking is permitted. - Unquote
Ah - those were the days! "Of course, no kicking"! Because I live in
Arizona during the wintertime, it has been quite awhile since I saw a
snow ball battle.
Good health to us all for Auld Lang Syne!
Dec 30, 2005: Email reply from Billy S...
I can vividly remember the snow-fort battles.
A great deal of the fun was building the fort to be invincible from the
attackers. Making and storing snowballs in the fort was vital to the
defense of the fort. I believe that some of those snowballs were packed
pretty hard contrary to Beards rules of battle.
Most of our homes were on hills and slopes. The Rosfield forts were fun
to attack because of the front slope and the higher lot next to it. A
terrain challenge for both the defenders and attackers.
What I cannot remember is how we chose sides---defenders and attackers.
I believe that everyone helped to build the fort. We must have rotated
offense and defense. By the end of the battles we were soaking wet from
persperation and snow balls down the neck and boots, but what fun!
In today's PC climate snow ball battles and dodgeball are not welcome
and considered aggressive behavior---we just had fun!
If Art has the photo perhaps he can send it by E-mail. Art If you do
not have a scanner Kinko's can scan the image and it can be stored on a
CD,! then sent by E-mail.
Dec 31, 2005: Email reply from Art Rosfeld...
Enjoyed your New Year's greeting and the memories it evoked. As soon as
I take the Christmas tree and all the decorations down and return it
all to storage, I will forage into the "archives" to dig out the
snowball fight picture. Billy Selvig's note was right on the mark. We
all did take turns defending then attacking the fort. Every winter our
yard was the site of truly magnificent battles, steeped in
comraderie,fairness and honor between warriors, and great peels of
The picture in question is treasured by my two brothers and I because
it shows the three of us battlin' to defend our fortress. I loved that
old house, the big front porch with a grand view of Beaufort and the
direct view of the neat, hollihock-filled alley that ran behind so many
houses of pals and friends on Berwin. Also on the right side of the
house, hidden from the street, was a fabulous place to keep (and
constantly alter) a large panorama of world war 1 like trenches
chock-full of my lead soldier army. My folks let me keep my troops and
all their equipment in bivwack there year round because it was out of
My brothers and I still enjoy immensely talking and smiling about those
Happy New Year to you and yours.
The picture in question...
Jan 15, 2006: Email from Art Rosfeld...
The big yellow duplex house on the corner of Berwyn and Beaufort with
the large, carefully attended yard that stretched all the way down to
the "hollyhock" alley that ran behind your home was owned by the Godina
family. They had one daughter named BiBi who I thought was especilally
neat. Anyway, they had renters in the one story apartment that faced
Berwin on street level. An exceedingly "with it" professional preppie
type couple lived there. Her name was Marge and his name was "Blackie"
(Schwartz,I think). They were wonderful people who always invited me
onto their front porch for cokes, cookies and good conversation during
spring and summer months. I adored them.
About 15 years ago, a couple who were contemporaries and very close
friends of Marge and Blackie, moved across the street from my brother
Norm in Greentree.
The Schwartz's had long since moved to Minnesota and once when Norm's
neighbors visited them they mentioned the Norm Rosfeld, who lived
across the street. That rang bells and they told their visitors about
my many visits to their porch and gave her the photo that had been
taken by Blackie (I believe that he was a journalist and a
photographrer). Norm made copies of the photo and immediately sent one
to me along with Marges' address and one to my brother Bob. I then
began corresponding with that wonderful couple until Blackie died.
Marge went into a nursing home, then was swallowed up in the world of
Alzheimer's a few years ago.
Incidentally, I've shared all the emails with my brothers and they
really enjoyed them. Since we didn't know Mr.Schwartz was taking the
picture at the time we can only speculate who the charging kids were.
Probably good buddies such as Bobby Alm,Roger Theil, Donnie LeVine,
maybe Walt Selvig, Kenny Lonsinger,(and probably George Heitzman). All
could be suspects.
Best Regards, Art
July 28, 2006: Contributed by George E. Scharp in
letters to Don Sayenga...
It has been a long time since I gave much thought to my youth in
Brookline. I lived from 1924 to 1940 at 2437 Pioneer Avenue, two doors
from Gallion towards Rossmore. Here are the families and people I
remember from 1930-34. I saw very little, if anything, of these people
after I started to work in June 1934.
The spellings are mine and might not be exact. The estimated dates of
birth are to give some perspective.
BERWIN (Eastward from Beaufort)
There was a vacant lot next to the Frey house. I believe a duplex was
built there about 1927 or so. (DS note: duplex later occupied by
Godino, Ott, Covato, etc.)
Frey - Dot 1910. I remember Dot Frey very well.
Gaston - Jane 1916, Sara Miriam 1918.
Preuhs - Jerry 1915, Louis (Red) q1917, Romaine 1910, Lucia 1912, Ruth
1918, plus a number of other younger girls.
Janeway - Foster and Wade, about 1915-1917 One of these boys married
Jane Gaston - The Janeway house was next to the steps. (DS note: i.e.
Metz - Bob 1913, Louis 1916. The other side of the steps.
BEAUFORT (from Berwin down toward Gallion).
Schmouse - Jake 1900, Anna 1908 Anna had the first beauty shop in
Inrig - Bob 1910, Donald 1916 was in my class in Brookline Public
Kubiak - Ted 1904 The corner house at Gallion; no children. I believe
the name was Moomaw.
Field - Bob 1912 On the other corner of Gallion and Beaufort.
BEAUFORT (West side, up the hill, then down the other side). On the
corner an older couple, I cannot remember their name. (DS: Falk?)
Dublin - Howard 1908, Clarence 1909, Eddie 1912.
Norrish - Chuck 1916, John 1918.
Moore - Chuck 1913 Prof. J.F. Moore was the principal at Brookline
Public School for many years, including the time I attended.
Seed - Helen 1916.
Finan - Leah 1913.
Shuman - Dick 1918.
Stankey - Eric 1916.
Lloyd - Addison 1917.
Next to the alley Dugan - Eugene 1912, Bob 1918, plus two or three
girls whose names I do not remember.
BEAUFORT - (East side, up the hill, then down the other side.)
Wisdom - Bobby 1917.
Mealing - Jack 1913, sister whose name I do not remember.
Whitehouse - Hank 1908, Chuckie 1916, possibly another brother.
Fraser - Don 1914.
Williamson - boy and a girl about 1915 -1917.
McKinley - Bunny 1916 I believe a niece who came to live there about
These Beaufort names may not be in the exact order of the houses.
Davison - two families; I cannot remember which Bill (Lefty) 1905,
sister 1908 married Bob Kappler from Dormont, Bob 1912, Red 1913, Phil
1914, Dick 1915, Dot 1913, May 1916, possibly others.
Cullison - Bill 1915, Tom 1917, Dick 1920 Bill died a few years ago.
Tom was killed in the Second World War.
Babcock - Billy 1917 He blew off some fingers of a hand when he was 12
Anderson - Carl 1905.
Faust - Bill 1910.
THE LITTLE STORE
When we moved to Brookline in 1924, the "little store" was owned by a
family named Fyke. A few years later it was taken over by the Nefts.
Mr. Neft turned it into a full-fledged grocery store, with a fresh meat
counter, and delivery service. He had a number of young people as
part-time help, including Bud and Ruth Morehead, who lived on Pioneer
Avenue just past Ray Avenue, and Tom Hillgrove, who drove the delivery
truck and lived near us. He and I were buddies for many years. Mr. Neft
was a member of the tennis club down the alley behind the store. He
dropped dead on the court. I also remember Mr. McKinley the fireman. He
played all the time.
I knew the Phillipi's (parents) but not the son. The next house was
occupied by the Hillgrove family, with six children, of whom the
youngest were Tom 1915 and Bob 1917. Next were the Brunks, elderly
people, with grown children. Then a double house - I never knew who
lived in those places. Then Erbys, whose son John was about three years
older than I - I played with him when we were teenagers, although he
was in college when I was in high school. On the corner the Alm family
lived with five children, starting with Virginia 1913, Thelma 1916,
then Billy, Jimmy, and Bobby. Mr. Alm owned the Alm's Pharmacy at the
corner of Brookline Blvd. and Stebbins, but lost it during the
depression. He sponsored a local baseball team during the 1920s. I
suppose he spent too much time (at least 4 evenings a week during the
season) with the baseball, and not enough time in the pharmacy.
Lamb's Field and Donkey Field. I played at both of them all during my
school days. The Lamb family lived across the street from the little
store, at the corner of Pioneer and Belle Isle. During the summer, we
sometimes would sleep out at Donkey Field. The name goes back to the
days of coal mining when donkeys that pulled the coal trams were put
out for fresh air and sunshine.
Jan 15, 2006: Email from Don S July 30, 2006...
Here is a contribution for the website. The photo is not dated but I
can imagine it was taken on the first really nice day of Spring when
Helen Sayenga said something like Donnie why dont you give Carol a ride
in the wagon. I can recognize myself, Carol, the wooden wagon, the
tellypole on Berwin, Frazier's house behind Carol's head visible
through the little woodsy vacant lot at the corner Berwin/Birtley
before they built the duplex, the other woodsy vacant lot next to
Frazier's, and behind my head the dark red brick house on Birtley
opposite Frazier's - I forget the name, was it Anderson's?? As for
date, the trees are bare but there are no leaves laying around, which
makes it a Spring picture I think. Carol (born September 1936) cannot
be much more than three. My best guess is Spring 1939.
Feb 7, 2007: Email from Carol Sayenga Lynn...
I actually had time to read some of the shortcut. Are you aware that
the Shortcut BBB gang became The Berwin Crew in the early fifties?
Jan 5 2010 --->Jan 6 2010
The Ice Box, Powder Drinks and other factoids
Don Sayenga said...
Carol and I grew up in what I would call a lower middle class home. We
were one click above the bottom rung because my dad had a steady job
and we owned a car, but in those days it was common for kids to play in
the homes of dozens of other kids, so we got to see how other middle
class people actually lived. There were many of my grade school
classmates who were better off than we were. But the house at 506
Berwin was a good solid house with a brick exterior – with a lot
more space inside than others. A good house to live in.
Another aspect of our home which is not easily explained today was the
relatively large number of people who lived there. The home was owned
by my grandparents when I was growing up. My mom was one of a large
group of sisters – two of them (Agnes and Dorothy) were unmarried
and were still living there when I was born (I was actually born inside
that house, not in a hospital). Agnes married Doc around 1938 and moved
out, but even after my grandmother died Dorothy was still living there
when I went to high school, and of course when Doc died in the 60s,
Agnes moved back in - in fact I think she inherited the house.
We did not have a refrigerator when I was small. We had something known
as an icebox. Inside the house were 2 (maybe 3) of them. One upstairs
and one downstairs. They did not have much room in them because most of
the space was occupied by a huge 50-lb block of ice. The ice was
delivered into our house by the iceman who came by each week. It melted
away during the week – the meltwater collected in a tray which
had to be emptied (every day I think) but kids weren’t allowed to
handle the tray because it was cumbersome and the adults didn’t
want to risk a puddle on the wooden floors of the kitchen. We had a
sign we put in the front window indicating if we needed ice, and how
much we wanted.
I do not remember how old I was when we got our first refrigerator. The
thing that is stuck in my mind about the icebox is that I don’t
think we ever had ice-cubes because it wasn’t cold enough
anywhere in there to freeze water – that part seems hard for me
to believe sixty years later. The other thing I seem to recall is that
the first kind of refrigerators middle-class people owned didn’t
have a freezer compartments, so ice cubes were a rarity.
Because there wasn’t much room in the icebox, the only drinks I
can recall being put in there were milk, buttermilk and beer –
all of which were in glass bottles. The milk we used was delivered to
our doorstep (buttermilk and butter too) by the milkman who came every
day. The milk was not homogenized – the cream would float out on
top inside the bottle and we had to shake the bottle before pouring. My
sister and I were encouraged to drink as much milk as possible, and we
did drink it by the glassful during the daytime, but we were always
cautioned to “save milk for breakfast” if the bottle was
getting empty. As far as fruit juice is concerned, most people bought
oranges at the grocery, sliced them in half, crushed the juice out
using a special dish with a ribbed cone in the center (I haven’t
seen one of those in many years) and drank it immediately. (I am
reminded bread was another thing brought to the doorstep).
There were no powder drinks in our home except for Ovaltine. I
don’t know if they existed but I doubt my mother would have
bought them if they did exist. She made an exception for Ovaltine which
we mixed with milk and drank at bedtime. (I am pretty sure Carol still
drinks Ovaltine at bedtime). We did not have “pop” (that
was the Pittsburgh word for what you now call soda) in the icebox. Not
ever. When we came into the house thirsty we drank water by the
glassfull, or often - by leaning over - directly from the tap. This
drinking from the tap inside the house was frowned upon because the
purity of the water as it came out of the tap was always in question.
In the summer, however, there was always a rubber hose hooked up to an
outside faucet, and the kids drank from the hose without going into the
house. We did this without hesitation at any house where we were
When we got a refrigerator (it was quite an event when that happened)
my mother started a new policy about pop. She was negative about drinks
containing caffeine (such as Coke, Pepsi, and Royal Crown) but she
favored a specific kind of ginger ale known as Vernor’s. It had a
very different taste unlike regular ginger ale – by regular I
mean Canada Dry or A-Treat Ginger Ale. She would keep a six-pack of
Vernor’s in the house and there was always at least one bottle or
two getting cool in the frig. We were allowed to drink from only one
bottle at a time. We put a stopper in it.
There wasn’t much in the way of drinks sold at grocery stores. I
seem to remember when Kool-Aid first appeared my mother wouldn’t
buy it. After we got a refrigerator we had ice cubes for the first
time. Our mother made iced-tea half-and-half with orange juice and
that’s what we drank with supper. My father drank a glass of
buttermilk every night before he went to bed. When I was little I could
never understand this because to me it tasted awful, but when I was
about 12, I made up my mind to give it a good try and I discovered I
really liked it. I still like to drink buttermilk quite often.
I’ve marked a copy of this response for Carol. She probably
remembers more because she kept on living in that same house after she
married. I more or less moved out when I was 18.
Carol Sayenga Lynn said...
About 99% of what Don remembers, I remember and agreed with. There are
some interesting differences though. Although I actually remember
getting a "refrigerator," I have no memory of us having an icebox. I do
remember that my grandmother had an icebox though. It was in a walk-in
cupboard room upstairs. The fascinating thing was that my dad had
created a drainage pipe through the wall to allow the melting ice water
to drain to the basement where it ran into a sewer pipe. I also
remember with joy the days that the ice man would bring his truck to
our house for grandma's big block of ice. He would carry the ice into
the house with his tongs. We kids always were out in the street playing
and we would get slivers of ice from the back of the truck to suck.
Deliveries, the milkman, the mailman, the department store trucks were
common place. I also remember the umbrella man, who fixed umbrellas,
and the knife sharpening man, who of course sharpened household knives.
When I was quite young, I remember that men used to come to our door
and my mom would give them some food. She said that they were hungry
and they knew which homes would help them. That statement was made when
I asked why the men came to our house but not to some of the
I remember a victory garden down by the swimming pool. It was a plot of
city ground that my dad and grandpap cultivated to grow additional
food. Many people had victory gardens during the war. There were, of
course, two large gardens in our backyard. The one closer to the house
was Grandpap's and the one by the alley was my dad's. We also had that
big grape arbor and my friends and I often sat in it and ate the
I was always very satisfied with my home. I know that there were many
things that I could not have or buy but I never was in need. There was
no upset or shame about doing without something or making do. Making do
was often quite fun! It was matter of fact and casual. When we traveled
to visit relatives (particularly Aunt Bessie and Uncle Cliff in
Cleveland) mom always had a bag of fruit and a bag of hard candy and
something to drink in a thermos in the car. I remember that she used
sterno to heat soup for us when we traveled.
Don's right! Our house had relatives living in it or visiting it all
the time. Whenever anyone visited grandma, they came to our house.
Cousins who came home from the war always visited grandma. Somewhere
there are pictures of family gatherings in the side yard, under a tent.
Sometimes, when there was a big job to be done, the relatives would
gather and work together.
There was no freezer section in the first refrigerator that we had. Our
refrigerator could only hold two trays of ice cubes so it was a rule to
refill when one was emptied. I don't remember much beer in the refrig
although I do remember that, on hot days, after working in the garden,
our dad would sit in the livingroom and drink a beer. I knew that Don
and I drank a lot of milk. Milk only came in glass quarts then and we
had 7 quarts delivered every other day. There was an insulated box on
the front porch for the milk to be kept cool. We usually had fruit of
some kind in the house and I also remember plainly squeezing oranges
for juice to drink. I believe that I did that even after I was married.
Ovaltine was a treat and I have always (Don is correct) used it as a
nutrious drink. Lately, the company was sold to Nestle's and they
changed the recipe!
It was 1960 before there was an automatic washer/dryer in the house.
Mom had a wringer washer but I even remember, when I was very young, a
copper tub that sat on an old black stove in the basement. Water was
heated there and clothes were rubbed in the tub. You know! Rub a dub
dub! I have the tongs that were used to dip the clothes into the hot
water. They are on my kitchen wall (along with ice tongs). I remember
that there was no hot water in the basement bathroom. There was a
little gas stove and mom kept a bucket of water on it to stay warm. Don
burned his hand in it once! Clothing, curtains, towels etc were always
hanging in the basement to dry. In the summer, the side yard would be
filled with clothes on the clothes line.
We walked to school, walked home and back at lunch. Walked to the movie
theater on the Boulevard on rare days. I think now that, if our mom had
to go somewhere, we were allowed to go to the movie. There was a
special, exciting way to walk home through vacant lots, down alleys,
through cement short cuts. One thing that I often think of now. There
was never any fear. It was as though we either knew who lived in many
of the houses or we simply knew that, if we needed help, almost any
house would have a mother to help us.
Kids gathered on our street because it was level in front of our house.
In the day, we played softball or football, later basketball with a
basket hoop. In the evenings we played release mostly, using about a
four block area for hiding. We went home when the streetlights went on.
There would always be ten to fifteen kids available. Everyone was
included although we surely knew who could run and hide successfully.
It was a status symbol to be chosen early by a team captain (always the
We had a donkey field, a little woods and a big woods. There was also a
"little store." Everyone knew where they were. We also knew exactly
which neighborhood yards to avoid. One woman, Mrs. Wagner, posed a real
problem. She must have been mentally ill or something but she surely
made lots of problems about nothing!
Jan 6 2010
School, Family, War, Snow and Romance back then
Art Rosfeld... (To: Ripski van Czortgut)
I've just read Bill Selvig's latest posts and what grand memories they
The Rosfeld family truly loved Brookline Grade School, all of us did:
Mom, Dad and the 3 boys. Maybe because I was the last of the three
brothers to go there,and also because I "graduated" in June of 1945, it
has a special place in my heart. And what a heady year that was!
FDR died April 12; Benito and his mistress had been strung up by their
heels in Italy; Hitler was found dead in his bunker; Germany
surrendered in May; we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki,
and... Japan and it's supposedly invinceable Tojo and Emperor Hirohito
surrendered in August. For a young kid and his buddies preparing to
enter highschool and "the big time", celebrating VJ Day on Brookline
Boulavard was an occasion none of us will ever forget. Both of my two
brothers were in the Pacific, one flying on B29's dropping bombs on
Tokyo, the other bobbing about on a destroyer.To me, that Victory meant
the terrible war was finally over and my two very BEST buddies would be
coming home safe at last.
Maybe all of the glow of that time affected my memory of Ms Dugan, the
teacher in the school picture. I recall being fascinated by her. She
had a big wide smile (when she chose to flash it),and long, tan, quite
beautiful and shapely legs. I recall those gams vividly. She often was
seen in the gym or out on the tennis court in very short tennis skirts
that displayed stems that made the hormones of all the Peter Pubertys I
hung out with snap, crackle and pop! Don't know her "orientation" but
somehow find it hard to believe that she wasn't a natural at making
guys of any age perk up and notice her.
Our family moved from Beaufort to Mt. Lebanon in 1947 and I transferred
from South Hills to Mt. Lebanon High.
That big snow of 1950 is part of my own family's lore. I then was a
sophomore at Penn State. During the previous freshman year I met and
fell very hard for a gal I considered to be the prettiest girl I'd ever
seen. She lived in Hopewell Township..way over by the Greater
Pittsburgh Airport. During the Summer of 1950 I drove every weekend
possible to see her, and once or twice had her over to Mt. Lebo to
party with my friends, meet my family etc, but I always had to have her
home by midnight (which meant a long drive back).
Both of us came home for the Thanksgiving break In November and we
talked her Mom and Dad into letting her come with me to the scheduled
Penn State/Pitt game at Pitt Stadium on Saturday afternoon and stay
overnight in our place the night of the game with the promise that I
would have her back in Hopewell before dark on Sunday night. It began
to snow hard Friday night. After many phone calls between us, she
boarded a bus for Pittsburgh with an overnight case early Saturday
morning. By the tiime I picked her up at the bus station, the game had
been postponed and Pittsburgh itself was becoming paralyzed. It was a
struggle to make it home.
Thus began three of the neatest three days a guy and his girlfriend
could imagine. My Mom called her Mom and assured her that she would
look out after Natalie as if she were her own. In fact my Mom and Nat's
Mom had a very long chat and began right then a very close and
wonderful friendship that never ended. All of my crowd both guys and
gals also were home so we spent the next several days trudging through
deep snow to one house then the other for laughs, food and just a
wonderful time. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
By the time Natalie left to go home, my parents, my brothers and my
magnificent dog Chips all were madly in love with her. We both
graduated in June of 1953 and were married in August...that's 56 years
and counting (60 if we count the "proper courting" 4 years during
We will never forget that wonderful Pittsburgh snow storm in 1950!
Thanks for the reminder Bill.