As we tried to maneuver around in the snow this last week we remembered the snowy New Years Eve of 1969. I was living in Macksville with my parents and my fiancé, now husband, was home for the holidays from college and visiting his parents in Bucklin.
He decided to come and get me for the New Year celebration and drove from his parents to mine in the snow storm. It had been snowing all day and I still can’t believe that our dads allowed us on the road that night, but neither one of them stopped us from getting onto the roads in his 1967 Chevelle S/S.
When my fiancé arrived at 7:30 we immediately started back to Bucklin. We drove west on highway 50 and when we made it to Lewis about 30 minutes later we turned south down the old black top road.
A few miles south of Lewis the road dead ends and you have to turn right or left at the stop sign. We had traveled this road many times in the past and knew it like the backs of our hands.
As we approached the dead end I saw the warning sign telling us there was a stop ahead. It was snowing so hard it was almost a white out and you couldn’t see the sign until you were right on top of it. I pointed at the sign but didn’t say anything. I guess my fiancé didn’t see the sign or my motion to remind him about it.
He didn’t know we were at the corner until we were past the stop sign and out in the middle of the east-west road. There was too much snow and it was too slick for him to stop and the car went off the other side of the dead end intersection.
The ditch was probably 4 feet deep and almost filled with snow. When the car came to a stop the nose was in the ditch and the tail was barely on the road. The nose of the car was up against a barb wire fence which had stopped the car.
When we looked out the front window after the car came to a halt, there stood a couple of old cows against the fence. It must have been like dinner and a movie to them, and they were curious about the new intruders.
They had probably been standing in that spot for hours waiting for the show to begin. One of them placed her chin on the car and bellowed at us, then slowly turned and walked away, bored with the goings on. All the fun was over for them when the car came to a stop.
My fiancé opened the car door and the snow was higher than the floor boards. He got out and tried to rock the car but knew that he couldn’t get the car out by himself. We looked both directions down the highway but there were no cars anywhere to be seen.
We knew there was a farm house about ½ mile to the east even though we couldn’t see it in the snow, and there was one to the west about the same distance, but the last time we drove by it no one was living in it. He decided to walk to the house east of the intersection and see if they were home and could help us.
I was left behind to sit in the car and wait for him. As I sat there alone several cows stopped in the 2 foot deep snow to check out the car. They looked it over and rubbed their chins on the hood and then slowly turned and walked toward the farm house and the dry barn.
I could imagine the conversation between them and the other heifers when they arrived back in the barn, “Boy, humans are sure crazy, they are always running off the end of that road. They should just walk like we do and they wouldn’t have that problem. Who needs those big clumsy machines anyway?”
It seemed like my fiancé was gone forever while I sat there in the cold and watched the snow fall. Finally I saw lights coming toward the car down the blacktop and hoped it was my fiancé and the farmer.
The road had small hills, the kind that can tickle your stomach when you go over them. I watched as the head lights rose over the little hills and then dropped down out of site and then appeared again at the rise of another hill.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity the lights were behind the car. When I looked out the back window I could see that the farmer had brought his tractor to pull the car out.
He hooked the chain to the rear of the car and gently pulled it out of the snow drift that had filled up the ditch. When he had the car back on the road he insisted that we come back to the house and call our parents and let them know we were okay and where we were. No one had cell phones so it was use his phone or not let them know what was going on.
The farmer’s wife had hot chocolate for us when we arrived at their home and it was good to be in where it was warm and out of the snow. The farmer parked the tractor near the front yard when we went into the house. He told us they kept the tractor in the front yard because there was an old drunk that lived south of their place and he drove off the dead end at least 3 times a week and had to be pulled out.
Once we were warm and dry again and had called our parents and heard the lectures we knew were coming, we got back in the black 67 Chevelle and drove on to Bucklin. It was after midnight when we arrived and we had missed the celebration, but we were just glad that we had survived the Snowy New Years Eve drive. To contact Sandy: [email protected]