THE BIG SNOWSTORM IN COLUMBUS, GA

After graduating Oklahoma University in the fall of 1972, our family of five traveled to Fort Benning, GA.  My orders read report to the US Army Infantry School and perform duties as a Company Tactics Instructor.  Sounded like the duty assignment to be enjoyed.  And it was. 

Neighborhood snowed in

Usually a teaching job is 8-5 with no weekend work.  Since I was on a list to be promoted to major soon, we could anticipate good quarters for the family.  Since one was not  available we were put on a waiting list as we moved into an older house.   Picture of neighborhood  in Columbus, Georgia. 1973.         More snow in the neighborhood

Phyllis and I began thinking and talking about going camping somewhere.  After all, camping was one family activity that had always been important to us.  As fate stepped in, we didn’t expect to get a camper this way.  We were driving in town past an auto dealership, when we noticed a new looking Wlnnebago campers sitting in an empty lot across the street from the dealership.  We turned around and went in.  As a salesman meet us, I asked how much he wanted for the camper.  He gave an outrageous price so we just turned and started for the door.  He stopped and asked what we would pay.  I looked at Phyllis and quoted him a price half of what he asked.   He shook his head and acted insulted, then said something like, that’s.  ridiculous.  We started again for the door and I asked him to think about it and  gave him our telephone number.  After we got in our car we both agreed he would never call us.  Two days later he did.  And at the price we offered.

We parked it in front our house as we packed and got ready for a trip.  The next day we woke up to an unusual site.  Especially, for this part of the country.  Our family would never forget what happened after that. The headlines read,

“One of the greatest snowstorms in Southeastern United States history occurred February 9-10, 1973. This storm dropped one to two feet of snow across a region that typically sees only an inch or two of snow per year”.   We took several pictures that day.  A local broadcaster gave this account of the once in a lifetime event.  The broadcaster continued with his  description of the snow event.    As I looked out my window this morning and enjoyed the novelty of snow in Columbus, Georgia,  I had to reflect on the biggest snowfall in Columbus in my  lifetime.  It happened on February 9th and 10th, 1973.  Columbus got 14 inches of snow.   It just about paralyzed the city with mainly only police and emergency vehicles traveling the streets.     This is our Oldsmobile 98, equipped to tow a camper in the snow parked in street in front of our house.   Meanwhile Phyllis drove around and didn’t have a problem at all.  We hurriedly  loaded our new camper and left the following morning to find a campground that might be open.  We found one and stayed several days.  That is the next story.