Radio Flyer Sleds to the Rescue

A man shares the story of using a radio flyer as a snow sled to haul groceries home during a blizzard that closed down roads.

Snow Sleds

Winter sleds were used to haul groceries home during a snowstorm that left roads impassible.

Photo By Kevin Jarrett/Wikimedia

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As a family with eight children, it was a constant challenge keeping bread and milk in the house, let alone a full week’s supply of groceries. So in the winter of 1968, Mom certainly didn’t need a late afternoon blizzard to sweep through, but that’s just what happened.

The timing of the storm couldn’t have been worse. Not only was Mom snowed in with all eight of us children, but Dad was at work and would soon be snowed out. Within hours, our road was impassible, making it impossible for Dad to get home. A friend from church offered up his couch, and Dad graciously accepted.

The next morning, the snow plow set to work. However, winter’s workhorse had only cleared half of our road when a mechanical problem forced the driver to abort the operation.

When Dad called home to check on us, Mom read him an impromptu grocery list. Then the four older boys, myself included, dressed like Eskimos and were dispatched to the tool shed to get our two Radio Flyer sleds. While there, we also snagged a couple of old Coca Cola signs that were round, metallic disks about three feet in diameter. Years earlier, we had tied ropes to the signs and rode them down snow-covered hills alongside the Radio Flyers.

We four troubadours then plodded a half-mile through the snow down to the one-lane bridge, pulling our empty sleds and signs behind us. There we met Dad and loaded our winter playthings with the groceries Mom had requested. Then we hoofed it back home, much to Mom’s relief, and Dad returned to our friend’s house for yet another night on the couch.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Read more winter weather stories in Stories of Snow Accumulation.