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Blizzard stirs memories of wicked storm in ’77

The recent winter storm brought back memories of the Blizzard of ’77 for many. While the impact of that great blizzard was overwhelming and downright frightening, our isolation forged and strengthened many friendships as we relied on each other for support and survival. With the loss of electricity, our neighbor’s house became the sole source for heat and the ability to cook meals for several families in the immediate area.

On the afternoon of the blizzard, it became obvious that the employees of our East Aurora facilities along Route 16 would not be able to return home. This realization caused several hundred trapped employees to raid the vending machines. They were sold out very quickly, and management was concerned about how to feed these employees for an indefinite time.

With mounds of snow building and visibility near zero, a delivery truck became stuck just outside our building. The driver exited the vehicle and made his way though the deep snow toward our office. No one realized at that moment what a godsend this man was. He owned a submarine sandwich shop nearby and was returning from Buffalo with a fresh supply of rolls, cold cuts, tomatoes, etc. Management purchased the entire truckload of food. A line of employees was formed to bring the items through the snow and inside our cafeteria. Several people prepared the submarines and everybody was fed.

While all were grateful for the food, the circumstances under which this occurred were simply miraculous. Although little was said about this in the following days, the incident has greatly impacted me even to this day.

Fred Bonisch

West Seneca