Pat Shingleton: "Snow Plows, Car Hopping and Skitchin'"
Preparations for freezing weather in South Louisiana and the excitement from the December 8th snow event replicate our preparation prior to a hurricane including generators and food stuffs. I've posted a couple of winter stories for your review. In our younger years, there was excitement at the approach of a snow storm. Our dog, Pooch, was an outside dog but when the temperature dropped and the snow was flyin’ he went from the dog house to our basement for the night, next to Uncle Emery – there for other reasons. Another treat were the North Sewickley Township snowplows. The eight foot embankment in front of our house, at a 45 degree angle, was where you got the best blast. We would await the snow plow, settle into the snow covered embankment and once the plow scrapped the road, we were covered – with three feet of snow. Weather like this was also perfect for "hopping cars" as we referred to it. Pete Pavlovic’s store was the high point of Brighton Road and also provided a hiding place to hop the cars. As the vehicles spun and chugged up-the-hill on an ice-slicked road, we timed our “hitch-up” to go for the ride. Hooking onto the bumper, like down-hill skiers, we’d glide like a bunch of kids on skate boards – without the boards. A dry spot on the street was the danger zone. Once your boots went from slick to dry, your head went into the trunk or bumper. When school resumed, many a neighborhood kid was identified as a “knot-head.” Pat Quigley did the same growing up in New Jersey and says it was called “skitchin.”