As Chicago emerges from its third deepest snowfall in recorded history with nearly 20 inches (1967 -- 23", 1999 -- 21") and 50 mph winds which caused major drifting (so, the snow was barely 3 inches high in some spots and 4 feet high in others), Books on First also emerges from one of the few days in its history to be closed unexpectedly, maybe the first. Larry was snowbound in our Walton abode 12 miles south of Dixon and his favorite employee Brenda said she had a 4' drift right in front of her home. I remember our first months on the job. We were determined to be open.
On Saturday, 2 January 1999, we began at 5am driving back from Chicago in fierce wind and snowfall to arrive just after 8:30am to a fully "handled it" Dixon with mounds of snow in the middle of downtown streets (which I think makes perfect sense as it allows people still to get into driveways). We opened our doors only 45 minutes late and proceeded to wait until around 10am for our first "customer" who was Michael, wanting a free glass of water. At other times when two-lane Route 26 between Dixon and Walton was dangerous to travel (due to snow squalls and drifting), we stayed at Comfort Inn or Presidential Inn in order to be in town to open the store.
Now, we have a trusted employee in town, but we still would not ask her to take on more than she can handle (like getting through snow drifts).
Speaking of snow (were we?), Snow White Bakery has closed its retail doors, a sad loss for Downtown and all of Dixon. I heard that owner Catherine Benon still will be baking to order, so try giving her a call.
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