Saturday, February 28, 2015

The winter of '34

I have been down with a cold and last night the gang gathered without me. And here is what I loved: My friend Gary called me from the party.

"Where are you?" he said.

And in the background I could hear all this raucousness going on.

It was like being in college! Your friends would call you from a party.

I am not that sick. It is not that flu that is going around, thank goodness. But the zero degree temperatures would not be a good idea so I am trying to stay out of them. One thing, I wrote this on Facebook the other day, I think it is so funny how every day the radio is telling us about the winter of 1934. That is the year that set the records for cold, the records we are breaking or not breaking.

Above is a picture of Big Blue in the winter of 2015 but it could just have easily been the winter of '34, except for that it would have been surrounded by other houses, not lots.

OK, this is all very interesting, Mary, but what does this have to do with Leonard Pennario?

Here is what. His family left Buffalo in 1934 and moved to California. He did not think to mention to me how cold that winter had been but that weather must have had something to do with that move. Pennario's dad had owned a high-end shoe store and in the Depression, you could forget succeeding in a business like that. It was the same as my grandfather who had a high-end men's clothes store. Businesses like that were the first to fail.

So you can picture the situation, the shoe store belly up, and then this cold, cold winter of 1934. They must have spent a fortune on coal and then been freezing anyway. Who needs that?

Who needs the Winter of '34?

Better the Summer of '42. And this great scene involving vinyl.

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