Pat Shingleton: "Ice Storms and the Decorated Tree..."
On this date in 1973, Central Connecticut received a crippling storm causing more damage than the famous New England Hurricane of 1938. Power outages were the worst in New England history as lines snapped, putting thousands of homes without electricity. In year’s past, we experienced power outages from snow and its weight on trees and roofs. The worst ice storm in U.S. history struck the south from January 28 through February 1, 1951. The load of ice carried on the sides of an average evergreen tree 50 feet high and 20 feet wide would be five tons.Reminiscing - To complete the Christmas assignments, Mom got the kids “out of the house.” Sled riding and snow-football were options however a freezing rain-snow-mix meant indoor boredom. When I was eight-years-old and my little brother Kevin was five, we found plenty of things-to-do. Playing “cars,” Lincoln logs or the Erector Set were options. Looking out the window sometimes found a fight or an arrest across the street at the Kennard’s house. Circular streamers were used to decorate the Christmas trees. Today they resemble a “crepe paper lei” and noticing a garland streamer, dangling from the tree, I tied it to Kevin’s ankle. From an adjacent room I yelled, “Yo, Kev, Santa brought us an early gift, a puppy!” He barreled after me dragging a decorated ten foot tree.
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