Remembering the snows of yesteryear

  • Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9:30 a.m.

Sleet fell, without a break all night. It was the evening of March 1, 1960 but labor pains were keeping me awake. The doctor had told me a day earlier that it would be two more weeks before I would give birth to my first child; that, however was not to be.

My husband, the Rev. Harold Jones, and I were living in a rural area near Belton, S.C., and of course were not experienced in dealing with snow and sleet. He pastored a small Baptist Church, and I taught English at an area High School.

The next morning everything was covered by a thick layer of snow mixed with sleet. Harold went out and warmed up the old Packard and we made our way slowly to the Anderson Hospital , some 15 miles away.

Dr. Hand said, “It’s going to be a few hours. You can go home for awhile and come back this afternoon or you can stay now.” Naïve and nervous, we decided to go home.

About 5 miles from home, that beloved Packard broke down, stranding us in the snow (which in my memory was 3 feet deep). Fortunately a couple living nearby came to our rescue and we finally stumbled back into the parsonage at Neal’s Creek Baptist Church

We rested a couple hours and returned to the hospital. Later, in the maternity ward I heard a voice screaming, “Help me! Someone please help me!” Very quickly I realized that the screamer was me. That is, it was “I.” The 7 pound sweetie was born about 9:30 p.m. on March 2, 1960.

My husband and I had been joking about a name for the baby. Meanwhile, we had been choosing shrubbery to go in the yard of the church’s newly completed parsonage.

“Burfidy holly sounds pretty,” I had said.

Instead, we had chosen Emily Jenan for our darling little one. Emily, oddly enough, was Harold’s father first name. I had known a beautiful teenager named Jenan a few years earlier. Throughout the last 50 years, my Jenan has had a love-hate relationship with her moniker. Nowadays she does a lot of writing and calls herself “JJ Benson” — Jenan Jones Benson.

The night she was born, the weather did not improve. That night my private room on the maternity ward housed a new mother — me — and a new father — the Rev. Harold jones. He had curled up in a corner and ended up sleeping there for three or four nights. Finally, the nurses stopped pretending he wasn’t there and sent him home.

Those of a certain age remember that we had a significant snow again the next Wednesday. Although I’m not positive, I think that day, March 9, was when “Jani” and I went home. Again, on March 16, we had snow.

My first baby and I always look forward with amusement to hearing Carolinians ask each other, “Do you remember the March when it snowed every Wednesday?”

I remember only three snow Wednesdays, but then I was a bit preoccupied.

Bettye Ellison Jones lives in Kannapolis.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.