Snow, New York and My Father

Why am I so sad that I am going to miss this big NYC Blizzard?

I do like snow.  Why else would I have spent so much time in Alaska!

As a child, I remember waking up and listening to the traffic on West Street below our third floor window.  West Street was still cobblestones in those days and full of truck traffic, as the elevated West Side Highway kept most cars off the surface street.

Every once in a while, especially during January and February, I would awake to silence.  The snow muffling the noise of the tires on the cobblestones.

During one particularity heavy snow that occurred on a Sunday, my father had planned go to New Hope, PA, where his friend, the Sculptress Selma Burke, had a house and some land.  I loved going there.  It was always an adventure, with a little stream that had grass growing on the bottom that I was absolutely terrified of.

Selma, not our father, actually taught my brother (Peter, two years younger) and I to hunt.  We ate what we shot, the total haul being one woodchuck and one duck, but I felt sad for the duck’s partner and it was the last animal I ever killed.

But on this windy, snowy day, NYC had maybe 12” to 18” inches of snow and I declined going to New Hope, deciding instead to make my own adventure by taking the 10th Ave bus up to Riverside Park with my sled.  I did that, walking the mile to 14th to catch the bus that finally came and an OK day sledding.

When my brother and father got home that night, my brother regaled me with tales of blasting through large snow drifts and I was disappointed that I had missed out.  A bit strange that I did not go, in that I was the one who accompanied my father on all sorts of trips, in the city and out, never being too bored (sometimes my job was simply to sit in the car, while it was double parked, as my father found various electronic parts he needed).  My brother often found much of this time boring, and while at times I did also, I felt it was part of my responsibility in helping my father in any way I could and I liked seeing different things, going to new places.

There was only one other time, that my brother accompanied my father without me, and that was during the summer of 1972.  I had decided to stay in Seattle at the UW to attend this oceanography class that actually had us out on Puget Sound doing stuff.  But that summer, our father,  G. Lee Bost, was working on the last of his three Shaft movies, Shaft in Africa, so my brother got to go on location for a month, while I collected seaweed in Washington.  I was not as envious that time.  Africa did not sound that appealing to me.  Neither did our father by the way, who remarked that he was grateful to be born in the USA no matter how his ancestors got there.

Sadly, our father died in 1992, when I was 41 and it wasn’t until my forties that I started to see how similar I was to my father, in both good and bad ways. A gentle soul, loyal to his friends until the end of time.

But 20+ of snow is always fun in the City.  It’s especially interesting watching the MTA put those cable chains on the Articulated buses 24 hours in advance, so the cable are well worn or broken by the time the snow actually arrives.

February 2011 Snow Storm
February 2011 Snow Storm
20101226 Blizzard 007
Christmas 2010 Snow Storm This bus and the one in front of it sat for days
20110212 002
Julie and Sarah Enjoy the February Snow

 

Then the buses prompt get stuck after the first few inches in any case.

Articulated buses are only good to reduce the number of drivers and the quality of service.  Not much else.

But I digress.

I am truly sorry I am not there.  Had I been reading the forecast discussions like I used to, I would have had an inkling a few days ago and may have even flown home for the event.   Oh well, next time.

Nowadays, I look at the Atlantic Surface Analysis every day.  I like getting a feel for the weather and how it changes over time.  It will be during the winter that we will follow in Columbus’ tracks and take the Northeast Trade Winds back to the New World.

I did pull out Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes last night.

So many places to go and people to see.

Published by Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

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