CAUGHT IN THE 1956 NEBRASKA BLIZZARD by The Oxford Standard

The following is an article first published in the November 1956 Oxford Standard. It was submitted here by Lory TenBensel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Groshong.

 

Edsion – Mr and Mrs. Dean Groshong and three children, Kathy, 7; Cindy Jo, 4; and Gary, 2, arrived home about 10 p.m. Sunday evening after a most perilous experience as victims of the week-end blizzard.

 

Thursday night the family left here for a surprise visit at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Rodenbaugh of Rapid City, S.D.. They were between Alliance and Chadron when the storm became too severe to drive and they were huddled in their car from 3 a.m. Friday until about 3:30 that afternoon.

 

Then Dean began scouting around to see if any house or building could be found and about three-quarters of a mile from the car he found a small building, which had been used for a telephone service of some kind.

 

Ploughing back through the cold and drifts, he took Kathy with him to this building and told her to stay bundled in a comforter and not move. One side of the building was covered with batteries, and at that time Dean, himself, didn’t know what the building was for and cautioned the little girl not to touch anything.

 

Returning to the car, he took Cindy Jo, Mrs. Groshong and 2year-old Gary and started for the building. In relating this, Mrs. Groshong says she became so exhausted before reaching the little house where Kathy was, that she sat down in the snow to rest. She was so cold that she didn’t notice the discomfort of the snow.

 

At last they reached the haven Dean had found, and all were together. Dean had to make other trips to the car to get supplies. They had five comforters with them and there was kerosene stove with an almost-full tank of oil outside. They had some hamburger and carrots with them. The lid of the thermos bottle was used to fry the hamburger. During the night the comforters were drying out, the children slept, but the parents worried about what might happen.

 

Saturday a man came past on horseback looking for his cattle and got word to a filling station telling of their plight. By Saturday they were at the filling station along with twenty-two others.

 

The Groshongs feel very fortunate that only frozen fingers and achy bones are the reminders Mrs. Groshongs has, and, of course, both she and her husband suffered for loss of sleep and worry. The three little ones only have colds but nothing serious from what could have ended so differently.

 

There must have been a rabbit’s foot somewhere in that Groshong car. They are indeed happy that her parents did not know they were coming and were spared the worry of where they were.