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.