Fifties          

Wayward Snow Blower

Ernst was a snow blower driver that worked the Steven Pass summit area. Phil parking his 1948 Plymouth in a little turn out area, next to the highway, was fair game for Ernst. While Phil was skiing on the slopes, Ernst had to be chuckling to himself, as the twenty-foot arch of snow and ice buried Phil's car.

Early Sunday morning my mother knocked on my bedroom door, and told me I had a phone call. "Your car was what?" I listened to Phil's story about his car getting buried, and how lucky he was to catch the school bus home Saturday.

We made a futile attempt to make it to Steven Pass in my old Buick that morning, but a snow storm, turned us back Our attempt was made on December 4, 1959, we were not able to get back to Phil's car, until February 27 1960.

I drove slowly down the hill from the summit; Phil had the window down, looking for any signs of his car. "There it is!"

I had to drive another 50 feet, before I could find a place to park my Buick. Shovel and a broom in hand, Phil and I went walking back to Phil's Plymouth. We had to use brooms at first, so we would have a general outline of the Plymouth, before we started using the shovels. Standing in snow up to your knees and shoveling snow, is hard work.

Four hours later, we had most of the snow cleared from around Phil's car. Then we had to start working on the twenty-foot thick wall of snow and ice between his car and the highway. The real test came when Phil got in behind the wheel of his Plymouth to start it. The Plymouth fired right up, while Phil sat in his car, warming it up, I shoveled some more snow, just to make sure he would be able to pull it out.

I stood back about ten feet, and Phil put the car in gear, it did not move.
"You got the clutch all the way out?"
"Yes, John"
That's when I smelled the clutch burning.
"Take out of gear Phil"
"Do you have the hand brakes on?"

I thought Phil had set his hand brakes when he parked it, and they might be frozen, but he didn't. Phil put the Plymouth in neutral and stepped out of the car. What was wrong? Why won't it move? After about an hour, at last we found what the trouble ways, the tires were frozen to the pavement.

As the sun sat in the west, Phil and I were jacking up the front bumper of his car. Phil kept jacking, but the tires would not pop from the pavement. I had to use the jack handle and chip away at the ice around the tires. Two hours later, we got the tires cleared from the pavement.

After fact: I sat in my car, I was beat. My last words to Phil before we headed home was "If this happens again, we will wait till summer".

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