Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — For many years, the Western New York area has been called the “Snow Capital of The United States.” We got that rep in 1977, when rotten kids like me were able to climb snow banks so high we could literally stand over stop signs on our street.
It was the first, and only, time my friends and I were able to play street hockey with full body checking because we actually had boards we could check each other into. That was also when we learned just how sharp ice can really be when it is chewed up by plows and hidden in the snow banks along the road.
Long before the Blizzard of ‘77 ripped through Western New York, man had spent centuries developing better and better methods of transportation. He had devised planes, trains and buses to carry people in large numbers from one spot to another, and he also created trucks and cargo planes to allow people to pack up their household possessions and move them from one spot to another. If you didn’t want to live in a particular part of the country, you could rent a big truck and move somewhere else.
Since 1977, transportation technology has significantly improved and become affordable to everyone.
After the Blizzard of ‘77, a lot of people decided to use that transportation technology to move someplace where there would not be the threat of a crippling blizzard. Those of us who like the snow, and don’t mind the occasional blizzard, stayed behind.
The reputation of Western New York’s snowfall spread far and wide until it was known all over the world that, if you live here, you will deal with snow five to six months out of the year.
Some of us would gladly put up with a nasty blizzard every few years rather than deal with mudslides, earthquakes, smog, serial killers, tsunamis, oppressive heat 365 days a year, alligators, an outrageous cost of living, huge bugs carrying disease and the threat of a Mexican gang war spilling over the border into our neighborhoods.