“I was living on a country road just outside Fulton and the storm completely shut down my family’s life for more than a week,” said author Jim Farfaglia. “When I decided to write a book commemorating the blizzard’s 50th anniversary, I knew that others experienced an epic disruption in their lives, but I never imagined all that happened during that powerful snow event. The stories were incredible.”
Anyone living in the northeastern United States 50 years ago has memories of the major winter storm system that brought the last days of January 1966 to a grinding halt.
It remains one of the most talked about weather events in Central New York and that was the catalyst for Farfaglia’s new book: “Voices in the Storm: Stories from The Blizzard of ’66.”
Farfaglia interviewed more than 200 people who lived, attended school, or worked in Central New York in 1966. “Voices” is based on those interviews as well as his research of the blizzard’s impact on local businesses and municipalities.
Photos taken during and after the storm illustrate the challenges people faced while struggling to return their lives to normalcy.
During his research, Farfaglia realized that there was a second book to be written about the area’s unique winter weather:
“I remember hearing SUNY Oswego meteorologist Bob Sykes’ forecasts on WSGO radio during the four-day blizzard and wanted to include his story in my book. After interviewing his children, I realized that Bob had an amazing life as a weatherman beyond the ’66 storm, including serving his country during World War II as a meteorologist stationed in Greenland and his tenure teaching at SUNY Oswego. His instruction influenced many of today’s meteorologists such as Dave Eichorn, Al Roker and the Weather Channel’s Tom Niziol. From their interviews and from reviewing Mr. Sykes’ personal papers, I wrote ‘In Pursuit of Clouds: The Journey of Oswego’s Weatherman Bob Sykes.’”
Both books will be released on Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego.
Farfaglia will give a talk about writing the books, share some of the anecdotes he learned from his interviews and conduct a discussion with the audience about their 1966 memories.
Farfaglia is also available to present a PowerPoint program about the blizzard and Sykes for local groups and organizations.
For more information about the river’s end event, contact the store at www.riversendbookstore.com, or call (315) 342-0077.
For information about Farfaglia’s books and presentations, visit www.jimfarfaglia.com