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Weather Indicated

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Weather Indicated

Bob at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Mass., 1986

St. Louis had its first snowfall of the season last night — just an inch or so, enough to make the yard look nice and cover up all the leaves I never got around to raking.

My wife and I still get a big kick out of snow. Of course, we grew up in New Orleans and didn’t have a whole lot of experience with it until we moved to Boston in 1986. Evann, a graphic artist, remembers how Christmas cards never made any sense to us Southerners — what with their snowy landscapes, barren trees, and horse-drawn sleighs, smoke curling up from chimneys, and everybody bundled in strange garments and head coverings. Where were the scenes of barefoot, bareheaded kids in shorts and tee shirts playing with their Christmas presents under leaf-filled live oak trees, while parents sipped juleps on the veranda, cooled themselves with palmetto fans, and swatted mosquitoes as big as pelicans? That was Christmas for us, more or less.

It only snowed twice in New Orleans when I was a kid — once on New Year’s Day in 1961, and again in the spring of 1974. I remember exactly where I was both times: at a Sugar Bowl game in ’61 (the slushy ramps were treacherous on the way out), in a political science class at Tulane (on the Newcomb campus) in ’74.

But we had plenty of snow in Massachusetts, and way too much in Wisconsin. St. Louis is just about right.

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