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My Turn: A deeply memorable blizzard

Sometimes it's too late to prepare for heavy

Sometimes it's too late to prepare for heavy snow. Credit: AP / Dave Schwarz

I recall a memorable snow experience. The year was about 1945. My friend Marion (now 88) and I (now approaching 87) lived in Queens.

We worked at Sabatino Beauty Shop in Edgemere, which was one railroad stop past Far Rockaway. It was a barber shop in front, a beauty shop in back. Each area had two chairs for customer services.

A major snowstorm came along. Our boss told us to leave early because of threatening weather. But it was already too late for us — the railroad had stopped running and there were no buses, either.

We took it upon ourselves to walk. Wow! Marion lived in Howard Beach, and I lived in Jamaica.

It had not been a very cold winter, so we were not prepared. I was wearing a Chesterfield coat with a velvet collar as was Marion. Each of us wore only a soft kerchief on our heads. NO HATS!

The snow was already fierce. We were picked up by an open-top snow truck. We sat on the very top seat, the only seat on this truck. We gave our gloves to the truck drivers to help them shovel heavy snow in our path.

We tried so hard not to cry. We — luckily somehow — arrived at Marion’s house on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach many hours later.

We got off the truck and climbed up approximately 15 steps to the top of the overpass and then walked over a high iron bridge over the tracks and approximately 15 steps down. The snow was very deep and very slippery.

We had been out in the blustering snowstorm for somewhere between 14 or 15 hours. True story!

We pushed open the door of Marion’s house, as frozen as we were, and then cried and cried on the floor.

Marion’s mom thought we had gone to my house in Jamaica. My mom thought we had gone to Marion’s house. We had no telephones then in either house in Howard Beach or Jamaica.

Marion’s mom and family were prepared to accept very sick girls the next day when we woke up. But blessed be to God, we woke up absolutely fine.

Amazing, as I look back. I finally went home, weather permitting. My mom and family were happy to see Marion and me well and smiling. We all thank God and still do the same now as we approach our late 80s!

We have been blessed.

Josephine Pecchio Caferri,


LET US HEAR FROM YOU Letters and essays for MY TURN are original works by readers that have never appeared in print or online. Share special memories, traditions, friendships, life-changing decisions, observations of life, or unforgettable moments for possible publication. Email, or write to Act 2 Editor, Newsday Newsroom, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747. Include name, address and phone numbers. Edited stories may be republished in any format.

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