by Anita Mae Draper
|Postcard from California postmarked St. George, Brant, (Ontario) May 18, 1908. Public Domain, Courtesy of South Dumfries Historical Society|
The month of March is known for winter making a last blustery stand before its power wanes and the warming sun melts snow. This provides the perfect temperature for making sticky snowballs. The postcard featured above was sent from Los Angeles, California on May 13, 1908 to St. George, Ontario. The reverse starts off by saying that the sender is leaving California with regret and will be home soon by way of Chicago. Although the snow should be gone by May, one never knows when it comes to our weather.
|Children Snowballing Near Observatory, St. Louis (Shaw's) Botanical Garden, [Mo.] c1905. Public Domain|
This 1905 stereograph taken at the St Louis Botanical Garden in Missouri shows a snowball exchange between children on the site of the observatory. I had thought the person with an armload of snowballs might have been an adult, but considering the year, the short length of her outfit appears to negate that guess.
Did you know that many communities have bylaws concerning the throwing of snowballs? It is usually necessitated and enforced when the act hurts others, whether children or adults. The article from the Newmarket Era shows a good example of a bylaw to stop bullying. If only it was that easy the rest of the year.
An interesting photograph from 1915-1916 found at the Glenbow Archives in Alberta shows a snowball fight at noon between office staff members at Imperial Oil's refinery (Ioco), Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, British Columbia. The body language in this candid shot seems to imply the male is threatening to throw the snowballs, although we don't know if he completed the action.
|Hans Dahl - Snowball fight and snowman, by 1937. Public Domain|
On the other hand, the women in this Hans Dahl painting have chosen to direct their snowballs at a snowman. Are they aiming for his hat, face, or the club-like stick in his hands?
|A Republican-Democratic snow battle at the Capitol. Page boys. December 14, 1923. Public Domain|
|Snow scenes. Snowballing on Jaffa Road. January 1942. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division|
Although Jerusalem isn't known for its snowy scenes, the city does experience it every three or four years in varying amounts. Back in 1942, an overnight snowfall brought the community, including soldiers, out along the Jaffa Road to try their hand at target practice.
Have you ever been hit by a snowball? How did you respond?
This closes my series on snowball throwing, an activity to be enjoyed for all if done responsibly. Follow the links for other posts in this series:
Jan 5, 2021: Snowballs Go Way Back
Feb 5, 2021: Snowball Fights in War and Play
Anita Mae Draper served a 20-year term working on air bases in the communication trade of the Canadian Armed Forces before retiring to the open skies of the prairies. She uses her experience and love of history to pepper her stories of yesteryear's romance with realism as well as faith. Anita Mae Draper's published stories appear in Barbour Publishing, WhiteFire Publishing, and Guideposts Books. Readers can enrich their story experience with visual references by checking out Anita's Pinterest boards. All links available on her website at www.anitamaedraper.com