The New York Snow Storm of 1969

"Pearl and Kris Christmas 1968"
No photos of me in the blizzard but this one of my sister and me was taken before I left.  I’m the tall one with the blue scarf.  Nanny is peeking out the window behind us.

This is the 9th post in the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge, not to mention Sepia Saturday.

This weeks prompt is fittingly snow.  Forty four years ago today I was in the middle of the New York snowstorm of February 9, 1969.  I was nearing the end of my cross country after college trip during which I was looking for somewhere to be besides “home”. I had just about figured out that I could be in Detroit without moving back home. As soon as the planes were flying again, I caught one back to Detroit. As I was riding the bus in from the airport I thought Detroit was the dirtiest city I had seen during the whole trip.  Within a month I was out and on my own.  Here is a letter I wrote home while the snow fell.



February 11, 1969  Sunday 3:30PM  During a Blizzard

Dear Mommy and Henry,

I’m staying at the YWCA.  It’s O.K.  The room here is smaller then the one in San Francisco.  The address is      

YMCA Morgan Hall
132 E. 45th Street
 NYC, New York

Right now there’s a blizzard going on outside.  I was out earlier to wash and I got soaked.

You can’t hardly see a block and it’s already at least 5 inches (maybe 3) and giving no sign of stopping.  I talked to Pearl and she’s sending me a letter from you.  She’s o.k. in case she hasn’t written.  My job is o.k.  dull though.  I’m thinking of returning to Detroit in about a month but I’m not sure, I’ll let you know more about that as it happens.  I discovered I’m spending all my time figuring how to meet people like those I already know at home and that didn’t make sense.

I think housing here is worse than anywhere else and so expensive for a condemned bldg.  Even if I do come back to Detroit I’m glad I left and went all those places because now I know what they’re like and can quit wishing I was there and spend my time where I am.  It’s like getting my ears pierced.  For about 7 years I spent half my time wishing I could get them done then when I did, I didn’t have to think about it any more.  How’s school?  Write soon.  Don’t worry about me.  I’m not crazy or depressed.

Love,  Kris



For other photos and stories of blizzards, snow storms and other interesting topics…










39 thoughts on “The New York Snow Storm of 1969

  1. My daughter is surviving in over a foot of snow in Michigan near Detroit at the moment so your post made me think of her and her dogs straight away. It sounds as though the East Coast is particularly bad today, so if you were in New York now you would be reliving your memories of 40 years ago.

    1. I did have some Michigan snow stories but I decided go with this one because I realized it was an anniversary. Hope your daughter is taking lots of photos. I can’t believe I went on a cross country trip with no camera back then.

  2. What a fun letter to share. I love your red peace symbols and flowers, all the little notes on the envelope. How do we lose the delightful letter writing of our youth? Or am I the only one?

    1. LOL. I’m sure she was not reassured, but I really wasn’t. I felt so free to decide to do anything. And the snow storm was wonderful.

  3. How fabulous to have a letter you wrote home 44 years ago Kristin!!! I love the “ban the bomb” symbol on the envelope and “keep the Nation going in my absence” sure made me smile 🙂 Cheers… Catherine

    1. After my mother died I found all the letters I had written home over the years. It was especially wonderful because I had thrown all mine out in a fit of “live in the present”. I really regret that one.

  4. This is so neat, Kristin. I always enjoy your memories. The back of the envelop sure shows a sign of the times. I like how you assured your parents that you were still normal, lol.

    Kathy M.

  5. This is such a great post Kathy. I loved seeing the letter. What a great writer you were then and are now. I can really hear your voice.

  6. Kristin….I meant Kristin…you know that right? Sorry – haven’t had my cup of tea yet this morning and got distracted by the previous comment. Please accept my ‘umble apologies…what a twit I am !!

    1. Apologies accepted. Up there under your name where the date and time are, it says (edit) so you can always click edit and fix any mistakes you might make.

      Do you drink your tea with milk? My grandmother used to make us Cambric tea and I still drink it.

  7. Thanks again my friend. Wish I had the letters I wrote to Mama and Daddy or the ones that Mama wrote to me. Love your “heart” and your history.

    1. I know. While we were living in Mississippi I read the Don Juan books and in one place he said something about not being stuck in the past and getting rid of those trappings so I threw out decades worth of correspondence between my mother, my sister and me. that was so wrong. I’m supposed to be stuck in the past, in a way. Oh well. I was so happy to find all of my letter to my mother safe and sound.

  8. Love your post regarding the snowstorm. I moved in your parents neighborhood in Nov 1969 on 16128 Santa Rosa. I thought we were moving on up. 😉 The city seemed so big yet small. I loved that you have retrieved letters that you wrote your Mom. Great memories to treasure always.

    1. We moved there in 1968 when I was a senior at WSU. It seemed like such a peaceful neighborhood then but by the time my parents moved in 1972 it didn’t seem so.

  9. Utterly charming. Both the letters contents and the delightful envelope. How lucky you are to have at least some of your correspondence saved! I really enjoyed reading this.

  10. I really enjoyed the letter. It brought back memories of my efforts to to find myself when I was young. I also enjoyed reading it from the perspective of a mother of several children who are young adults.

  11. “spending all my time figuring how to meet people like those I already know at home”

    Sounds like you had sorted yourself out and knew what you wanted! Great to have these mementoes of such an important part of your life.

  12. Your wrote so well, Kristin, back then as you do now. You manage to fit some wonderfully insightful comments in amongst the family news. A fascinating post which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

  13. What a wonderful insight into your younger self Kristin. You sound as though you were a very sensible young lady and knew what you wanted. The envelopes with your signs and symbols are just as illuminating.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed your post. The snow picture with Nanny in the background was a treassure — a two for one, or perhaps three for one. The postcard with all the notes was a great reminder of those 60s and 70s — makes email & texting seem so boring. Thanks for a great post.

  15. Another fine post, Kristin. Reading a letter that one wrote years ago is like meeting a friend that you’ve not seen for a long time. At first things are familiar and then you notice the changes, the wrinkles of age. I have letters and diaries in my handwriting that almost seem written by another person.

  16. Oh boy!!
    It was like reading my mom’s letters,
    words written in every direction…
    I’m gonna call you Dorothy from now on:
    “There’s no place like home!! There’s no place like home!!”

    1. This isn’t the first time someone on my blog has been compared to your mother. I now know she filled up letters by writing in ever direction and that she failed to label photos.

      1. Many are guilty of that last one…
        When I look at Flickr,
        many leave their pics with the original “DSC” code…
        They’ll regret that later.

  17. Sorry to be late coming to this Kristin. It sounds like it was quite a storm, but of course, no money = no camera. I did like all the annotations on the letter. There’s something so permanent about snail mail that email just doesn’t capture. I’ve been going through mine lately for my daughter’s 40th and surprised at what I’ve found -you’ve inspired me to add some quotes into my posts. Thank you.

    1. It’s never to late to read my posts! You’re right about the mail. Even though I save my email, there is so much of it. If it’s going to be any use I’ll have to organize it. Ack! Not something else to be organized!!

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