Reflections: The Blizzard of ’78 continues


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

BARBARA HENTHORNE looked out the picture window of her parents’ country home and could see nothing. Snow covered the window and the outdoor scene on the morning of Jan. 26, 1978.

Barbara, who lives in the village with her husband, Bill, had gone to her parents’ country home, two miles south of Cardington, to help her mother tend to her father who had undergone surgery, planning to stay overnight.

However, with the storm blocking all accessible roads, she stayed four days — finally being brought home in a jeep driven by her cousin, Dale Underwood.

Her is just one of the many stories people experienced during this storm.

DICK HACK, who carried mail on foot in the village, said there was only one day the village did not get mail – the trucks could not bring it from Columbus, but rural carriers could not deliver for several days. Hack said the snow was so heavy that a drift on Chesterville Avenue blocked his view of residences across the street.

JIM ULLOM, then village fire chief, said department members stayed at the fire house throughout those first days and people in the village brought food to them. Jim says he remembers department members using snow mobiles and four-wheel drive vehicles to take food and supplies to people stranded in the country or to get medical help.

RON CARSNER, who was a partner with his brothers and father in Cardington Home and Auto, said he got up that morning to go to work and his truck would not start. “I called Dad and he said, ‘Turn on your TV, you’ll find we have a blizzard; the store is closed.’”

Ron said he and his son, later walked backwards (the wind was so strong) down Route 42 to a neighbor lady’s home where they fed her sheep.

DARLENE EBERT WALLACE, whose parents lived in town, was concerned about heat for them because her father was bedfast with a serious illness. This was a concern around the village because the electric was off. They found a kerosene heater for the house.

MILLS POORMAN, Cardington mayor at the time, had the most unusual request. “A lady called me asking why the village did not plow State Route 529 at the north end of the village.” Upon checking, they found the woman, who had two lady friends with her, had turned prematurely onto Reichelderfer Street, which runs parallel to State Route 529, about a block south. She had driven the snow and drift covered street right into a bean field and was stranded in snow, thinking it was State Route 529.

Reading my diary from those days, my husband and I managed to get food and supplies to several friends and relatives in the country. The local grocery store was closed only one day.

So many things in life aren’t memorable but this was one event that will remain with many people, I know it will with me.

From the Morrow County Sentinel

January, 1938: Elizabeth King of Cardington, a clerk in the Morrow County Probate office, had one of her poems, “Robins at Dawn,” published in a book of verse by the Crow Publishing Company of New York City. She was ordained as a Methodist pastor.

January, 1948: An organization was formed by American Legion Post 97 members and the Cardington Businessmen’s Association to arrange for the Cardington community participation in the Morrow County 1948 Centennial observance.

January, 1968: From the Searchlight: Jeanne Maxwell asked several kindergarten students “how they know when it’s winter” Bret Foster said, “You feel it is cold and the snow comes,” Ronnie Kaelber said. “I can watch hockey in the winter.”

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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