Although the automobile
gradually replaced the horse, winter driving on our unpaved streets was
still pretty rugged and spring driving even worse. When the mud was deep
we dragged bottom a good part of the way down Highland Street, and
why we never ripped the crankcase apart is a mystery. Of course in the
worst weather we reverted to Old Dobbin. Even as late as 1920 we
were snowed in for forty-two days by a great blizzard and a
series of snowstorms that came relentlessly one upon the other.
I was attending Noble and Greenough School which, in those
days was located at 100 Beacon Street, Boston, and while we were
snowbound I commuted by sleigh and train.
One of the worst snowfalls occurred on March 6th and that
was the day my brother Bill got a bad earache. Dr. Walker, a Boston ear
specialist, came out with us on the train to Kendal Green where we were
met by a pung. The snow was falling heavily, the wind
blowing hard, and visibility was only about twenty yards.
Just below the entrance to our driveway the
drifts were too deep for the horses to negotiate, so we had to struggle
the rest of the way on foot.
Dr. Walker did his best to ignore the whims of nature, and we
finally reached the house. He looked at Bill and decided on an emergency
mastoid operation. Being completely snowbound
there was no question of moving the patient, so Dr. Walker telephoned
the Waltham Hospital and ordered the necessary tools.
The Paines, who were still able to get out of their driveway, offered to
send a sleigh to Waltham to pick up the surgical instruments, and when
these arrived Dr. Van Nuys loaded them onto a toboggan and, with one of
the Paine's men, pulled them up the hill to our
house where innumerable sterilizing kettles