California Snow, 1949, Part 1

by summergrace


Historical Fiction

January, 1949 in Glendale, California. It is snowing. Agnes looks out the window of the house she is living in to her front yard. There is snow on the palm trees to the right side of her house. Snow on palm trees! She thought she would never see the day. Agnes had seen snow in Utah, where she was from originally. But when she went to live in Southern California in her late twenties, some 13 years before, she thought she’d never see snow again..or at least not like this. She thought she had moved to a sunny paradise. The snow keeps falling on. Agnes shakes her head and turns away from the window.

A little ways away in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale, California, the snow falls on the sleeping dead beneath the flat stones. The snow swirls over the churches at Forest Lawn where weddings and funerals are held. It looks like a winter wonderland, not a California cemetery. The snow has accumulated along the drives at Forest Lawn. Snow falls on the grave of Agnes’s sister, who had died young a little over ten years before, in the late 1930s.

Once the snow has stopped, a man with a camera can be observed at Forest Lawn. He takes a photo of one of the churches surrounded by white, on the ground and the drive around it. The tombstones beneath the snow, flat to the ground, cannot be seen, the snow is so deep. He knows this photo will be historic- Forest Lawn in the snow! Snow rarely happens in Southern California, and not this much. Many decades later, this photo will be used as a Christmas Greeting photo on the Forest Lawn Cemetery facebook page.

Back at Agnes’s house, she opens the front door, and looks out. The snow has stopped! She is reminded so much of Utah right now. A child’s voice comes from inside the house. It is Agnes’s 4 year old daughter, Winifred, better known as Winnie.

” Mother! Can I play in the snow? I’ve never seen snow!”

Agnes replies, ”Yes, but I must get you dressed warmly enough to go outside”

Just then, Agnes’s other child, her son Walter, runs up to her by the door. He is five years old. He shouts, ”I want to go play in the snow, too!”

Agnes looks down at him and says, ”Yes, you can, but I must get you and Winnie dressed warm enough to go out in this- you are not used to cold or snow..


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