The Star-Herald

Snowstorm stirs childhood memories

I remember when I was in grade school, the second grade, we had a monster storm go through the area. In fact, it was a storm like the one we just experienced. But that year in the early ’60s was, to me, a year that will live in infamy.

It began with snow that morning. I went to Mapleton Elementary School so we were only there a half day anyhow. That day, however, my dad got called to work early as the flight line crews at Loring were having a hard time keeping up with the snow. About 11 o’clock that morning, my teacher, Mrs. Smith, came in and called my name. There behind her stood my dad. He was concerned that I would be on the bus in that storm and he wanted to make sure I was home before he headed to Loring and a weekend full of snow plowing.

That was a Friday morning, and the first time I saw sunlight after that was on Monday morning, and we were still out of school until Tuesday that week. The snow was severe enough that my dad was sent with his snow plow and a flight-line snow blower to open the Presque Isle/Caribou road so that the airmen who lived at Bon Aire housing could get to the base at Loring. I would imagine, to some of the city kids, seeing that big roll-over Oshkosh snow plow and the huge Oshkosh snow blower coming was quite a sight.

When dad got home that Monday morning, after working all weekend, day and night, he had to make a few calls to see if we could get the driveway plowed. When he came over the snowbank that morning he had to duck under the power lines. But then of course, the power lines were on shorter poles back then.

Finally, after about six calls, he got in touch with the Mapleton Highway foreman and they stopped and opened our drive on their way by. They had this huge Walters machine with a big V plow and two wings on it, and when they came into the yard, the snow didn’t even make it breathe hard. It seemed like the snow looked at that plow and said “OK, I give up, you win.”

Back then we had winters to remember. We have far more modern equipment today to handle the blizzards, but I will always Remember When . . .

Guy Woodworth of Presque Isle is a 1973 graduate of Presque Isle High School and a four-year Navy veteran. He and his wife Theresa have two grown sons and five grandchildren. He may be contacted at

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