Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been getting beaten up about his "no more snow in D.C." column from September 2008. He remembers much colder winters during his youth.
In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today's anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.
In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington's C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.
I ask - is there a picture of this rope tow in McLean? A picture of it being taken down after winters with little snow? Any family pictures of the igloo in the back yard, or the Eskimos helping build it?
Much of his saying "it's getting warmer" depends on it being much colder in the 50s and 60s than today. You've got memories. Any pictures?