Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

First my calves, then knees, then thighs – and regions higher – began to feel the cold, wet snow as it rushed up my body. The frozen, white slope looked very long and steep. It was my first time snow sledding and I was twenty years old. On the sled behind me was my boss, Henry Snellings, Jr.

 Mr. Snellings (always Mr.) was the brains of my department at the City of Richmond, and second in command. I was a secretary.  His brilliant mind was balanced by the spirit and wonder of a little boy. He was ever proper and shy, yet playful. He once handed me a brown envelope to deliver to my husband. I had no idea what was in it. Jerry opened it to find a copy of a rather thick booklet I had typed to be printed. Inside was also a note saying, “I just wanted you to see what good work your wife does.”

 This was a man you trusted, so when he told me to come along with him at lunchtime while the snow was piled high outside, I put on my coat and went. He finally came to a stop at Bryan Park, opened the trunk and pulled out a sled.

 “We are going sledding. You can’t go your whole life without going snow sledding.” He had seen my excitement when the flakes began to fall the day before. Growing up in South Texas, it was all new to me. That boyish twinkle was enough to make me forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I looked down that steep hill. So I climbed on in front of him and braced for a new adventure.

 I have not told you what I was wearing. This was in the late fifties, and ladies dressed properly for work, which meant I was wearing a wool skirt, high heels covered by boots, and nylons on a garter belt. This was before pantyhose.

 At the bottom of the hill, I stood and shook as much loose snow from under my clothing as I could, but I was still cold and damp. He must have realized because we climbed back up to the car and drove back to work. He was very proud to have initiated a Texas girl in the benefits of a good Virginia snow, and am I still very proud to have known and worked for such a man.



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