Looking Back At An Unsung Hero: Snow Day Edition

Alert “06880” reader and native Westporter Seth Van Beever writes:

The unsung hero of every child in Westport on a snow day was John La Barca at WMMM. We listened closely to the alphabetical school closings announcements.

A snow day was all about going to Birchwood Country Club to go sledding.

Oh yeah. I remember. Every 10 minutes or so, John would start: Ansonia, Amity Regional, Bethel…

It was an agonizing wait. Who cared about Our Lady of Fatima? Did it even exist?

But then — right after “Weston…” we would hear “Westport.”

And all would be right with the world.

In addition to Birchwood, Winslow Park (pictured this past March) and Greens Farms Elementary School are great sledding spots. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

18 responses to “Looking Back At An Unsung Hero: Snow Day Edition

  1. Vanessa Bradford

    Thanks for the memories! Growing up near Long Island Sound the off shore bell buoy would sound if significant snow. Usually indicating schools closed. We always checked with WICC to confirm.

  2. Ha! I remember that crazy WICC school closing list! I’d hover so close to our leather bound transistor radio that I can still summon a recollection of its hot electrical smell – like a Lionel train. Good times.

  3. I grew up on Long Island. We didn’t have “snow days” or school buses.

    Regardless of the weather, we walked to school — three miles, uphill both ways.

    Kids today are sissies.

  4. I was a WICC guy..Walt Devanis weather..Harold Peters on birds..lol..

  5. I too listened to WICC when Bill Codayre was the morning guy in the early 60’s, where he accompanied himself with his electric guitar. He briefly was on WHN in New York. A decade earlier, Bob Crane of Hogan’s Hero fame was the morning DJ and a guy named Rob Taylor did the news. Rob became famous a few years later on WABC under his real name, Dan Ingraham.

  6. Debbie Wilson Hoult

    Did you wish for the one hour delay or hold out for the closed announcement….?

  7. Sandra Calise Cenatiempo

    Sooo true!!! Thanks for bringing back such great memories ! You’re right …. couldn’t wait to hear John La Barca announce “Westport “ and …..Birchwood was the absolute best for Sledding !!!!!!
    Thanks Dan and Seth!

  8. WMMM and WDJF – glued to that station when we woke up to snow in Westport in the 70s! John Labarca was as much a legend as Roger Grimsby or Bill Buetell as far as I was concerned . . .

  9. David J. Loffredo

    I think we should add the Birchwood Country Club as an unsung hero…I have sledded down their hills since the 70’s, and not once have had a bad experience. Think about that – a private club, tons of liability, no problems.

    Thank you to the members for allowing us to use your hills, definitely a Winter highlight for not only me as a kid in the 70’s, but our kids in the 00’s.

    My personal favorite moment was one afternoon when I stood at the top of the hill with Jim Nantz as he called the action – only in Westport!

  10. Michael Don Sullivan

    Hello Dan! Great to read this, this evening! I hold dear memories of John LaBarca at WMMM, upstairs, above Oscars, along with WDJF-FM? I believe? Listened to him every morning on WICC after that! And of course, Morgan Kaolian, doing traffic from his airplane! Thanks Dan! Good to say hello! Michael Don Sullivan

  11. Kathryn Coster

    Oh trust me…Our Lady of Fatima existed…my husband is one who went through that Catholic Institution….to this day, great stories and great memories !!

  12. Even teachers, this one at least, were eager, anxious, excited to hear the words “….will be closed…”

  13. Never missed listening every morning.