No snowplow? No problem.
By Jim Biggar
Winter storms in my Falls Church boyhood neighborhood meant day-long shoveling parties in the 1950s. There were even rules of etiquette: first shovel your sidewalk, then tackle the street. It was bad form to shovel your own driveway before the street was clear.
My wife, neighbors and I shoveled our way out of Pommeroy Drive in Fairfax’s Kings Park West after a heavy snow fell in 1979, and two days later trudged through knee-high snow to the local grocery store a half mile away. I think the plow showed up on day three.
We moved to Herndon in 1980 and found that the do-it-yourself spirit was alive and well there, too. Why plow? As long as the cows got fed and watered, things were just dandy.
The mechanical snow plow is a great invention, and I cheer when one appears on my snowy street. But it is a luxury. We once survived without it and many rural folks do so today. There are plenty of places where people still grab a shovel and have at it when the flakes stop flying; it’s cheap, it’s green and it works.
Shoveling snow is a loathsome task, but if it really needs to be done, just remember: “When you need a hand, first look on the end of your arm.”
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