Part Two The Blizzard

Now the rest of the story by C. Wayne Davis

Shortly after John left our house, there was a knock at the kitchen door.  Mother was in the kitchen and went to see who would be out on a night like this.  She knew that no car could come up the lane because of the deep snowdrifts.   When she opened the door, there stood a man in a long overcoat, a stocking cap on his head and a wool scarf tied around his neck.   Mother invited him in and when he took off the scarf and cap she discovered it was Taylor Dunn, one of our neighbors.   The first thing he asked was, “Did Wayne get home?”

Mother explained what had happened, then told him to go on into the living room where we were sitting close to the stove.

Taylor came in exchanging greetings, then took off his heavy coat, placed his hands over the top of the stove and explained why he was there. He thought that I had walked home with his boys until  he heard  one of them mention that I had taken the  short cut across the fields.  He became worried, and since neither family had a phone at that time, he went to the barn, put a bridle and blanket on a work horse and rode to our house through the snow¬≠ storm to find out if I had arrived home.

We thanked him for his kindness and Mother handed him a hot cup of coffee to help warm his body.  He set the coffee on top of the stove he was standing next to and felt his ears.  Both ears had frostbite.  Taylor quickly emptied the cup, put on his coat, pulled his stocking cap down over his ears and Mother seen that his scarf was wrapped tight around his cap. We thanked him again and wished him luck as we watched him step off the porch on to his horse and ride north through the snowdrifts down the lane.

The next morning some thermometers in the neighborhood read twenty-five below, ours read twenty-three.  The wind had died down some, but nothing moved.  The roads were impassable.  Two days later, our road was cleared, then Taylor and four of his boys shoveled the snow out of our lane so we could get to the doctor.  Later, Dad offered to pay him and the boys for their work. but they refused.  Mother did some extra baking the next couple of weeks, and cakes, cookies, and pies were delivered to their house.  John  Pershing  continued to help with the barn  chores, and would  take nothing  but  free meals.

.   I  believe we were out of school for a week, then returned to inquire as to who had the most problems. We learned that some didn’t make it home when the storm hit, including Miss Hartle. She and a couple others stayed with students, Ruby, Franklin, and Richard Valentine at their family home which was down the road a few hundred yards west of the schoolhouse.   Classes were late getting started that morning, because we all had stories to tell, and Miss Hartle was the kind of person that took time to listen to each and every one.

Sixty-four years later, the schoolhouse is gone, and sadly, so are many of the people mentioned in the story. I spend more time in the area now that the Routzong Preserve is open, and it always brings back memories when I walk across the new wooden bridge and look north. Memories are like jewels to me: some of them were locked away to keep, but I find it pleasant  now and then to bring them out and-reminisce.

To Normal

With love and respect from one of your pupils,

Wayne

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