I think it was a Thursday on January 26, 1967, when I was working at the Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s Gas Meter Shop in Hammond, Indiana. At about noon, or so, it began to snow. It snowed so hard that we all knew we would have to leave work without delay if we were ever to make it home.
After heading north towards Ridge Road, I knew I wouldn’t make it home that evening and so when I saw a fellow worker, he offered to allow me to stay at his home that night. His wife prepared a great dinner for us and the next morning, it didn’t appear that the roads would be cleared any time soon and not wanting to spend the entire weekend in Highland, Indiana, I decided to head for home on foot. We were living in an apartment on 35th and Polk Street in Gary, Indiana, across from the Indiana University Extension.
Ridge Road was completely void of any traffic (all the roads in Northern Indiana were closed being completely plugged with snow and stranded vehicles). Stranded cars were everywhere and facing every conceivable direction and the only signs of any life were in the few small diners along the way where motorists had spent the previous evening. For five miles of hiking, I don’t remember seeing one single person along the route. Mountains of snow were piled up on the road every half mile or so where snow plows had given up.
It wasn’t cold that day but after several hours of hiking, I finally made it home feeling so proud of myself and what a relief it was.
Sure enough, Northern Indiana was pretty near at a stand still the next two days. That’s the biggest blizzard that I can remember. 77 people died during that storm according to the news.