Snoopy’s friend Pigpen always walked around with a little dust cloud following close behind him. I have a little weather cloud, specifically a little snow flurry, that travels with me.
I was raised a Florida girl. The beach was within walking distance and I made good use of it. I did my homework with my back against the Fort Lauderdale pier. My wardrobe was heavily laden with flip-flops, short shorts, and bathing suits. I never noticed my weather cloud.
I transferred to the University of Florida in January, and took my bike for transportation. That was painful, but I persevered. It was the evening of January 19, 1977, and I exited the Journalism building with a Gainesville Sun reporter who was there for a guest lecture. It was snowing! He asked if we could set up a photo, and I agreed. He drew the smiley-face and I arranged my first-ever winter coat. It was the shot seen ‘round the world!
The next morning, while painfully peddling to class with my weather-cloud blowing down my neck, I glanced at a newspaper rack on the corner. I remember the jolt of seeing my face looking back at me! My mom called that evening to say that I was on the cover of the Fort Lauderdale News. And now, 37 years later, it is still in circulation, resurfacing when the decade changed, on the twentieth anniversary, in Newsweek and Time for weather-related stories, and in coat advertising! I’ve been re-interviewed and re-photographed.
I’m used to my weather-cloud now. After my husband and I were married, we moved to Denver, Colorado so that he could obtain his Master’s Degree. That winter was the coldest in recorded history, breaking all records! I cried at the bus stop every morning.
When we moved to southern Louisiana it happened again. The natives, who bragged about wearing shorts on Christmas, were dumbfounded. I went to the Big Box store to buy thermal underwear, and the clerk looked at me like I was hunting for a space suit! “Oh, Bebe’! We don’t need such things here,” she said. “Are you sure?” I thought.
So, I wasn’t surprised when we moved to Atlanta, Georgia and the temperatures dropped to five degrees. When the fountain froze at Stonehurst Place, I almost forgot to take a photo. I’m ready. I own multiple sets of thermal underwear and collect socks like most women collect shoes. But best of all, on those days when the thermometer seems stuck in the twenties, I can tip my face to the sun and still hear the ocean.
~ Innkeeper Lori
Here’s an article from the Sun Sentinel on the 20th anniversary date of this oh-so published photo (think Time Magazine, huge department store display) …