Pat Shingleton: "The Winter of '66 and Snowballs."
The end of January, 1966 was super cold in Baton Rouge. On January 29, 1966, the mercury slipped to 20 degrees for the coldest temperature for the date. On January 30, 1966, it dropped to 15, setting another record. The true freezing point of water is known as the ice point and in 1966 the final days of January found the daytime highs staying below the freeze or ice point. Years ago I worked with an engineer, John White, who filmed the freezing weather in ’66 on a frozen City Park Lake. I used the video in the 70s and 80s to commemorate the date showcasing many Baton Rougeans donning their ice skates for the skating extravaganza. Closing out with another winter story. George Seaman raised Beagle dogs for rabbit hunting in the woods of Pennsylvania. George designed a dog pen that included pens at one end and an elevated open area that afforded them a place where they could “do their business.” The meshed pen allowed the dog droppings to fall through the bottom to the ground below. Our snowball battles stretched between the Minnet and Sudano yards, criss-crossing George’s property. The rules of engagement stressed that no “foreign objects” could be injected into a snowball, such as stones and gravel. My brother Kevin abided by the rules but creatively inserted the frozen “do-do” from George’s beagles into the snowball. His direct hit on Johnnie Cornelius’ noggin’ met with the delight of many. Johnnie wasn’t a favorite in the neighborhood.