1978—The Blizzard
So now (Monday mid-morning) I was at liberty to go home. But how? The airports were closed, and even if I could get on a plane going to Boston, it wouldn’t be able to land anywhere in New England. Made my way to Union Station and learned that the Montreal Express (I think that was its name; or maybe that was what we called this kind of nor’easter) train was scheduled to leave around midnight. Bought a ticket. Finally departed after dawn on Tuesday. Before long, the train was acting as a snowplow and going VERY slowly. The meager food supplies on the crowded train ran out quickly.
We crossed into Massachusetts Thursday morning, stopping at Route 128, as they announced, to pick up the corpses of some motorists who had died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their immobilized cars. Arrived in Back Bay Station early Thursday afternoon, sixty hours after scheduled departure from Washington. Seven snowy miles from home. Hungry. Weary. All the vending machines in the station had been empty for days. But the phones were working! Called home from a pay phone (remember them?); assured TheSlogw
Valerie (six months pregnant) that I was still alive, sorta, and asked her to send the three boys out to clear a path up Timbaloo’s front steps.
Then started to pay attention to the officials who were ordering us to stay put until they’d see fit to give us leave to go. Called The T and learned that a piece of the Green Line subway (ending three long blocks away) was still running as far as Park Street, and that the Red Line was still operating from Park Street to Harvard. Conspired with similarly-rebellious fellow-passengers, and ultimately set out northish along Dartmouth Street toward the Copley Station subway stop, about a quarter of a mile, through head-high snow, with an elderly academic, a blind woman, and her companion.
1As it turned out, the agency extended the deadline. Ours was there on time. The winning proposal (not ours) met the second deadline. Hmpf.
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