Frost on a window in our house, March 3, 974
March 1974

FTLComm - Weekes - Thursday, March 18, 2010

It is more than a joke that March comes in like a lion or a lamb and goes out the opposite way. March has the capacity to give Saskatchewan the most extreme weather and we need to be reminded of that in this remarkably mild March of 2010.

In March of 1974 my wife and I and our oldest son were impatiently awaiting the arrival of our second son who showed up in late April. We were living on a farm about nine miles from Weekes and I drove back and forth to work each day. But that March began as a lion and it roared almost for the entire month. Roads were blocked and we even had to spend a night at the neighbours because it was storming to much to permit our neighbour to clear the road with the blade on his tractor.

March 1st we received in the mail from Sears our first real camera. A 35mm East German Praktica with a 50mm and 80mm lens. These pictures in this story were taken with the first roll of Kodak Tri-X we put through it, a camera that lasted for many years until its cloth shutter wore out.


The picture above was taken on March 2nd and it was clear then the lion of March was upon us. This is a telephoto shot of Phillip Lindenback's farm and it was from his son that we were renting the farm house in which we lived a mile east of the grid.

Below is our yard on March 3rd as seen through the windshield of my little pickup truck after school that day and on the right is the cross drifted snow on the road as it looked on March 6th.


This was the road from the grid over to our place (right) as it looked on March 6th. The sculpted snow drifts indicate that the wind had changed directions during the storm.

The country side was seriously filling up with snow. I was able to make it to and from town to school but we did spend one night at Lindenback's when are road was impassable and we had a very pregnant lady to be concerned about.

The countryside around and east of Weekes is very flat and the Shand Creek (below) meanders through the area but floods nearly every spring. In 1974 it was filling full of snow and in April it was rubber boots and boat time. The weather seems to go in cycles so that the mid 50s were wet with miserable winters, the early 60s were mild winters with dry summers and the mid 70s were something up the middle. But when it comes to March anyone who has lived a decade in this province knows that you can be digging out your short pants one day and pulling on a parka the next.


Today Kelvin Grisdale is a serious successful farmer but in 1974 he was a delightful grade eight boy zooming over the country side on the family snow machine. This picture was taken in Grisdale's farm yard on March 16th.

On March 21 the fresh snow was being moved around (below) and the road over to our place was filling in. The walls of snow on each side of the road which runs east and west were to the top of the pickup's cab producing a perfect snow catch for the blowing snow.


On March 22nd (right) Phillip Lindenback had once more plowed out the road and I stopped to get a picture of the pickup sitting by the wall of snow. You will notice the antenna on the centre of the roof. These were the days of CB radio, we had a base station and antenna at the house and the truck had a radio that my wife and I kept in touch each morning and afternoon to and from school.

Below is a shot of one of the real natives of the Weekes area in a picture taken on March 24th.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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