[Vision2020] Winter in Moscow (the one in Idaho) . . .

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 17:03:28 PST 2018

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
***** Original material contained herein is Copyright 2000 through life
plus 70 years, Ted Moffett.  Do not copy, forward, excerpt, or reproduce
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Not much of a winter so far  this 2017-18 season...

Especially when compared with the 1968-69 winter, with a record setting
109.7 inches of now, 9 feet, and record cold temperature of 42 below zero
F.  Things have been "tropical" the past few days with limited snow on the
ground in Moscow, and temperatures in the upper 40s F. However, it's wise
to be reminded that Moscow once recorded 49.5 inches of snow in Feb. alone
in 1919, as you can read at the snowfall chart at the website first below.
Imagine if this Feb. 2018 we get 4 feet of snow!

The "109" on the far right is the winter snowfall total, the other numbers
are the monthly total for each month July-June:

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.10 36.10 a 55.50 10.80 1.20 0.00 0.00 0.00

Here is an account of the December 30, 1968 42 below zero F. event for
Cold Anniversary: Moscow, Idaho, Resident Recalls 1968 Record Chill
By judge3690 <https://judge3690.wordpress.com/author/judge3690/> on February
6, 2013

*(This was a short take I wrote Jan. 29, 2013, for JAMM-425 Feature Article
Writing at University of Idaho.)*

*By Jonathan Gradin*

Every year, new college students complain about the cold as temperatures
dip below freezing. Moscow resident and retired physical education teacher
Terry Peterson, who grew up in Pullman, holds that “they don’t know what
cold is.”

Her claims are well founded.

Terry and her husband of 45 years, Mike, are survivors of the coldest
winter in Moscow history, which peaked on the night of their first
anniversary, Dec. 30, 1968. While temperatures in town plummeted to -42
degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature in the low-lying Palouse Hills Mobile
Home Park (southwest of town) further plunged to -52. Terry was a junior
physical education student at Washington State University, while Mike—four
years her senior—was a sophomore attending University of Idaho after a
four-year stint in the Navy.

“We lived in an old—it was a Great Lakes, but we called it a ‘Great
Leaks’—10-by-47 mobile home,” Terry said. “It got cold enough that propane
liquifies, and we heated with oil, and oil congeals.”

Peterson and her husband did not notice that the heat was not working until
they woke early the next morning. Thankfully they had insulated the propane
tank with snow—their oven and stove ran on gas—so they had enough to keep
warm. Brutus, their cat, stayed warm with the help of an electrical heating
pad placed on a kitchen chair, she recalled. Heat tape wrapping and proper
underskirt siding kept water pipes from freezing, although she kept the
water running to make certain.

“Another thing that happens with those old mobile homes is that the frost
forms around your electrical outlets, and that was a little bit of a
concern,” she said. “My husband was an electronics technician, so he went
around and wiped them all down real well before we plugged anything in.”

Mike buried the car and the pickup with several feet of snow, Terry said,
adding that they were fortunate to own two cars, thanks to Mike’s GI Bill
funding, and were the only people in the trailer park with a vehicle that
would start. The car—an early ’60s Ford Galaxy 500 4-speed—would start
without problems, but the Ford truck was a bit sluggish.

“My husband is a little bit of a stubborn Swede, and he did not want to get
[the car] out,” Terry said. “He remembers taking the trouble light…he took
that and put it under the oil case, the oil pan of the truck.”

Other residents in the trailer park were not as fortunate or prepared.

“We had friends, another young couple, that had just bought a new mobile
home, a bigger one, like 12 by 70,” Peterson said. “They were five trailers
down… They had not gotten their trailer sided in, they had a new baby, and
she got up to change his diaper and feed him, and they had no heat and no
water. Their water had frozen, so my husband spent the majority of the day
trying to get them sided in.”

Temperatures the next day reached a high around -20, with a New Year’s Eve
low around -30. Mike and Terry celebrated the holiday and a belated first
wedding anniversary that night with dinner and a drink at the Nobby Inn in
Moscow (now the Breakfast Club). Terry, 20 at the time, remembered that the
drinking age in Idaho was 20, because she was able to drink in Idaho but
not in Washington.

After the cold spell, the Petersons resumed their life. Mike worked as a TV
repairman while in school, and Terry was a student librarian in WSU’s
humanities library. She recalled with a laugh that she would research and
write papers for her husband and his friends. After graduation, Mike and
Terry taught physical education in local schools.

“We had these grandiose plans that when we graduated we would go to Alaska
and teach,” Terry said, laughing. “Forty-five years later we’re still in

Terry said she has no desire to endure another chiller.

“If it gets that cold, I don’t know if I could find enough sweatpants to
keep warm.”

On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 4:25 PM, Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:

> Courtesy of the UI Argonaut
> https://youtu.be/QRPYIvNVAjw
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> =======================================================
>  List services made available by First Step Internet,
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>                http://www.fsr.net
>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
> =======================================================
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