Home Sweet Home
The first thing you need to understand is that it doesn’t snow in Eugene.
Okay, sure, it snows, but not that much. Not dependably. Snow is an event in Eugene, something special. And when Eugene gets even a few inches — enough to close down the University of Oregon — it’s an occasion for joy.
It certainly was joyous back in January 1969 — especially to a ten-year-old boy — when it snowed three feet one weekend. Not so joyous to the boy’s father, who was responsible for making sure the local rag was delivered to snowbound local homes.
Dad had chains on his pickup, so he was also enlisted to escort reporters around the white streets. It was in that capacity that he found himself driving down Thirteenth, through the heart of campus — and through the middle of a snowball fight. It wasn’t until he survived the gauntlet that he rolled down his window in relief.
And then SPLAT. Right in the kisser.
We weren’t there. We only remember it now because the reporter was sufficiently amused to write it up the next day.
Thirteenth is around the corner from University Street, where this video was shot last Friday, and posted to YouTube by our beloved student paper. And for some reason it’s gone viral, possibly because there was at least one football player in the crowd, doing what UO students have done for generations when there’s something worth doing it with.
(Also, that’s the student union in the background. You may recognize those large windows from the Animal House food-fight scene.)
Maybe it looks different in the cold stare of video. Maybe Dad took his own pelting with better humor than the miscreants deserved. But he’s been telling that story for more than four decades, and it’s never any less funny.