November 20, 2000 — Not a blizzard in the traditional sense, but it was still an impressive storm. Only the most benign of circumstances, a teacher’s conference had my little clan all in one place.
Funny thing was that it really didn’t start snowing until the early afternoon, but by mid-afternoon, you could tell it was going to be something. It was hard to know the expanse. We had both cars as I was working nights and my wife was working out in the burbs. Our little two car caravan got up to Goodell in no time, but as we approached Main, time stopped.
After turning on to Virginia St, we crept up the road and after a while progress wasn’t happening. I thought I should call work, but cell phones were quite the sidearm they are today. Didn’t have one. I’d find out later that they basically closed anyway. Somehow, we found actually parking spaces just before Elmwood Ave. and headed to the Virginia Street Fire Station where the good folk there offered shelter to wait things out.
After the Buffalo Firemen sprung for pizza for the kids and an hour or so later, the snow stopped and we walked home from there. I think that was the most surreal part of this particular storm. The businesses that dot Elmwood Ave. from Virginia up to Utica and probably beyond were open for business. The street from Virginia to almost Utica was three deep in abandoned cars, a sea of out-of-place quiet. My daughters were then 8 and 5 and thought this trek up through the snow, down the middle of the not-so-busy street was hysterical, laughing like they getting away with something.
I was mostly glad for a teacher’s conference, else it might have taken time to find where the girls wound up and their mom might not have made it home that night.
Walking back down to get the cars the next day was no big deal by comparison.