As reported by KCET, “Los Angeles typically does not see snow any closer than the mountains.” The snowfall of 1949 is now being called a “legendary snow storm that blanketed L.A. and the surrounding areas with snow cover.” It is further reported that “with each year that passes, it is less and less likely that the city will ever see snow again.”
I was eleven years old in January 1949, and it was the first time I had seen snow. I spent the night at the home of a classmate. When I awoke the next morning and overheard all the excitement about snow being on the ground, I hurried the few blocks home to Gleason Street. I wanted to enjoy the phenomenon with my family. And enjoy we did!
I don’t recall our having the necessary winter apparel (boots, ear muffs, gloves, hats, etc.) for the occasion, but that didn’t keep us from throwing snowballs at each other and trying to build a snowman. Nor did it keep Brother George and his ingenuity from coming up with a sled! He turned our summertime slip-n-slide driveway into a downhill sled speedway.
Most of all, my memory of that day revolves around our mom. Mom, always to the rescue, made each of us her very own concoction of a Slurpee by adding sugar, vanilla, and a little milk to the snow! YUM!
Later years would bring many trips to the mountains to enjoy the snow. But nothing on the subject of snow stirs my memory like that early day in East L.A. (now seventy years ago) and our wonderful mom’s sweet treat for the six of us.
Sharon Benson Smith is a member of the writing class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. It is held off-campus at the Norwalk Senior Center.