Letter #12: Valentine's Day Blizzard of 1940

I'm continuing my series of scanning, transcribing, and annotating my grandfather's love letters to my grandmother leading up to their marriage in June 1940. The letters are chronologically organized and preserved, using the methods I discuss in detail in my book, Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs

The 12th letter in the Grandpa's Love Letters series is all about a major snowstorm in the area. The Valentine's Day Blizzard of 1940 hit the east coast by surprise. New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. It was one of the most memorable snowstorms on record in Boston because of the heavy snows and high winds. 

Here's a link to newspaper photos of Scranton during the storm

I've also found a photograph of Grandpa after a snowfall the next year, which looks significantly less than the blizzard!

My grandmother wrote on the back of this photograph, "Ray Scranton, Pa 1941."

My grandmother wrote on the back of this photograph, "Ray Scranton, Pa 1941."

We also learn that Fred is Otto's cousin and doesn't like it in Scranton. In an earlier letter, he didn't seem to like the boarding rooms, but eventually got one



Feb. 15, 1940

Scranton Penna.

Dear Ann

At first, a few lines to let you know I am alright. It stopped snowing early this morning and when it stopped there was an average snow-fall of 18 inches. In some places it was less than 18 inches but in others there were drifts a few feet high. I had to go through a few of them to get in the last night and to get out this morning. When we got up yesterday morning there was about five inches of snow and the weather showed signs of clearing up, but it started to snow again in the morning and at night time we ran into trouble. As we were getting ready to go home the superintendent asked Otto if he would drive him home. Otto said he would and after they cleaned some of the snow off of the car we started out. After going out of our way ot take the superintendent home Otto lost his bearings for a few minutes in the blinding snow-storm. As a result we ended up downtown were [sic] we stopped to eat. We then started for home and got as far as the garage where we were stuck for an hour and a half. We had very little trouble getting to work this morning but had to wait long for connections to get home to-night. 

Someone here called up the Paterson Mill this morning and heard that everything was tied up there too. Tell me what happened when you write to me. We are not coming home this weekend but Otto's cousin, Fred, is. He does not like it here at all and the snow-storm is making it all the worse. 

It is to [sic[ bad it had to snow after we had gotten some hope of being to-gether again this weekend. There isn't very much we can do now, but hope for the best next weekend. It is 11.20 now, so I will close now and go to bed to dream sweet dreams of you. I really mean it, I often dream of you. I remain

Your Sweetheart


P.S. I love you more and more each day. 


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