Friday, January 14, 2005


On the way back from Helen's tonight, I had to drive through 20 miles of snow squalls, remembering how warm it had been this afternoon, when the temperature hit 70 degrees and people were walking around in short sleeves. That, in turn, reminded me of the infamous "Children's Blizzard" of 1888, 126 years ago yesterday (Wednesday), when 500 people lost their lives in a killer blizzard that followed an unseasonably warm day in Kansas.

Still driving through the flurries, I then got thinking about another terrible blizzard, the 1913 storm that paralyzed the Great Lakes and sank many lake freighters trying to get one last run in before the lakes froze over. David G. Brown has written about this storm in his 2002 book, White hurricane : a Great Lakes November gale and America's deadliest maritime disaster, and what I like about it in particular is his departure from the maritime narrative long enough to slip a chapter in about the storms crippling effect upon the city of Cleveland. That chapter alone makes it worth reading by students of local history.

Now I need to go shovel my driveway.


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