Snowbound in Ohio


I have lived in Georgia since 1959, first in Forest Park for six years and for 46 years in Fayetteville. The 27 years before that were spent in Akron, Ohio, about 50 miles due south of Cleveland.

From November through March, snow was always a factor of daily life in those months.

I have always been a Methodist and if you are familiar with that denomination, the teenage youth group has always been referred to as MYF, or Methodist Youth Fellowship. The MYFs at Firestone Park Methodist Episcopal Church were quite active and we participated in many activities. Twenty years after this the word Episcopal was dropped from the church name and it joined with a United congregation.

Every New Year’s Eve we all were at my house playing canasta all night long. Yes, I said all night long. My mother would come down the next morning and cook breakfast for all of us.

As a teenager I thought I had just about the nicest mother in the world. As an adult I thought I had the nicest mother in the world as well as the smartest. She knew just where I was all night and who I was with.

During the winter of 1948 there was suddenly three feet of snow that came down during the night. Needless to say, even in northern Ohio that was a bit much. Everything stopped and even stores were closed.

This was not looked upon by us MYF members as a problem but merely a challenge. We got on the phone to each other, members were asked to find hot dogs and buns wherever they could and tromp through the snow to my house. My mother put a big kettle on the stove filled with hot water and soon we had guests who dumped their contribution to the cause into the kettle.

The church had a supper one New Year’s Day night — remember that us teens had been up all the night before. I announced to my dad after the supper that I was going with the group to a movie. He gently pointed out to me that I had been up for 24 hours and urged me to come straight home. But hey, I was raring to go and besides, what did he know about being a teenager?

The group brought me home just after 11 p.m. And guess what. My door key was laying on the hall desk, on the OTHER side of the door. I threw stones at the screen of the bedroom that my sister and I shared.

Guess who it woke up. Yep, my dad. He came down those hall steps, opened the door — I could feel the chill in the air — and went into the kitchen. I whipped up those bedroom stairs and hit my bed.

He never said anything to me; he didn’t have to. When you get your hand caught in the cookie jar, nothing needs to be said.

[Carolyn Cary is the official Fayette County historian and the editor of the county’s first compiled history, “The History of Fayette County,” published in 1977. She lives in Fayetteville.]