Snow days in the 1960s

By Anthony Buccino

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My friends and I would tromp through the snow playing war or starting wars or chasing the dog and we'd laugh 'til our tears froze along with our running noses. And then we laughed some more.


Most schools were closed today here in New Jersey. Not one kid came to ring my bell to offer to clear out the rest of my walks, or the bottom of the driveway. Actually, yesterday a teen clearing off my neighbor's walk asked if I wanted help but I figured I have a snow-blower who needs a teen? (Oh, boy what a dumb thought!)

On the other hand, did you see tons of kids trolling for hills to slide down on their sleds, sleighs and toboggans. I didn't see any kids building forts, throwing snowballs, or having that kind of fun that I had as a kid.

When I was a kid ... before they invented thermal long-johns for kids ... I'd go out sled riding with my PJs under my denims. When I was soaked through and turning blue, I'd come home and put the wet clothes on the radiator and go sit under a blanket until I started shivering. It was great.

My friends and I would tromp through the snow playing war or starting wars or chasing the dog and we'd laugh til our tears froze along with our running noses. And then we laughed some more.

Today, nobody wants their kids to go out in the snow. They might get wet. They might get cold. They might get hurt. Heck, up until last week, kids could have gotten arrested for asking to shovel my walk for a few bucks.

Nah. It's safe to keep the children inside. What's the term I hear? Shelter in place? Just hunker down kids in front of the HD TV, play your video games until you get carpal tunnel and have some snacks and soda while you sit there having fun.

Someone asked me why aren't the kids out playing in the snow. Why aren't they knocking on doors to shovel walks and make a few bucks?

The kids are in the house playing video games, surfing the net and watching porn.

As for me, I wouldn't trade those wet, frozen PJs under my denims for all the game cartridges (is that what they still use?) in the world.

2018 Anthony Buccino

Read:

Winter in New Jersey

Back to School!

Dad Tales

Summer Time Tales

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New Jersey author Anthony Buccino's stories of the 1960s, transit coverage and other writings earned four Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism awards.

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