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Blizzard of 1888

At a certain point he had to stop and turn to the business of producing the book. He found a printer in Michigan. Of course, there are printers closer, but this was the one he liked the best and that involved a lot of travel and phone calls and in the end, the book came out late, a little over two weeks before Christmas, which was a disappointment because he more or less missed the pre-Christmas sales. The books were delivered to his house, where he handles all the mail orders. Five thousand books on skids arrived one morning in a tractor trailer from Michigan. There was a total weight of 15,000 pounds to be unloaded.

He was afraid the foundation would crack if they unloaded the works all in one place, so he spread it around—2,000 pounds here, 2,000 pounds there, 6,000 pounds in the basement, next to his roomful of old phonograph records.

But orders started to come in, and the burden began to lift. The book was given a prize and was given out as a prize, and on the weekend of the anniversary of the Great Blizzard of 1988, March 11, 12, and 13, Judd found himself involved in a blitz of radio and TV interviews, which was something of a surprise to him. He spent the weekend in New York City where Maria Shriver interviewed him and so did the folks at “Good Morning America.” When the weekend ended, when the centennial of the storm had crested and waned, he went home and slept, for days it seemed.

After that the orders continued to come in, slow but sure. He did not, as he had hoped, make a bundle. He has been thinking lately of other projects that might be more lucrative. He thought about capitalizing on the fluctuating foreign exchange rates by importing things from Europe. He looked into importing chocolate and traveled to Switzerland to arrange to buy a bulk load of chocolate. “But they wanted me to buy 100,000 pounds of it at a time, and I realized that chocolate, if you don’t get rid of it real quick, spoils. So that was out.” A couple of other things didn’t pan out. He keeps going back to the storms. When last we talked, he was getting together all his material collected over the years on the Hurricane of 1938. September is the 50th anniversary of that storm. He thinks there might be something in that.

Excerpt from “He’s Still Burried in the Blizzard of ’88,” Yankee Magazine, September 1988

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4 Responses to Blizzard of 1888

  1. August 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Th Blizzard was before my time…but being from the middle of the Adirondack Mts. It must have been devastating there. Thanks for a great article.

  2. Ronald W. Macdonald December 7, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    Thank you for the great article on Judd and his research. While attending the International Symposium of Telephony at Boston College with my aunt Eleanor Macdonald, We traveled to Judd’s home and I bought 6 or 7 books autographed by him. He was a very interesting man and live in a very interesting home.
    My aunt was a keynote speaker at the Symposium to present a program about my Grandfather, Angus Macdonald who was one of the “Long-Lines” linesmen who kept the telegraph lines operating in Connecticut and who later was the model used to create” the Spirit of Service” Painting which was placed in the 2 story entry of the headquarters of the A.T.&T. company in NYC.
    I have the original B&W studio photographs and quite a few products which featured the painting. I was surprised when I read the book he did so much research on not to find a reference to the “Long Lines” heros.
    Best regards, Ronald W. Macdonald

  3. Roberta January 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    “The Children’s Blizzard” is a very hard book to read since it’s about the experiences of families and children when this storm hit the Great Plains in late winter. A difficult book to read but interesting for historical, first-person value.

  4. Dorothy Arwe March 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    My grandmother, Myrtle Ellis Robertson, who lived in Sullivan, NH told me of her memory of the blizzard of “88

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