101-year-old former snowplow driver reflects on historic Erie winter storm
At 101-years-old, Harry Caspersen has seen his fair share of rough winters, including this week's massive snowstorm that dropped nearly six feet of the white stuff on the Erie area.
HARBORCREEK, Pa. - At 101-years-old, Harry Caspersen has seen his fair share of rough winters, including this week's massive snowstorm that dropped nearly six feet of the white stuff on the Erie area.
"I'm used to it," Caspersen joked Thursday. "It didn't bother me as much as it did others."
Caspersen keeps photos of those winters with him, memories of his career as a former PennDOT snowplow driver. He started in the 1940s throughout the North East area.
"This one shows you where you wing it off and the man was standing on top where we winged it," said Caspersen of his favorite photo in the album, which was dated "1947." "He could touch the wires up here," he said of a man in the photo.
Compared to today's trucks, things were a little different when harry was behind the wheel. Those rigs didn't have power steering; the heat, non-existent; the same goes for those defrosters.
But Harry and his plow partner in the photos, Claude, found a unique way to keep the windshields clear.
"We'd take a Spanish onion and cut it in half and wipe on the inside of the windshield," Caspersen said.
But what hasn't changed between then and now, are the challenges plow drivers face. In his case, cars in the roadway.
"My supervisor come down behind me and said 'did you see that car up there?'. He said I went so close to it that the snow just blew away from it," Caspersen said.
Harry actually celebrated his 101st birthday on Christmas Day at his Brevillier Village home in Harborcreek where he watched this week's storm unfold. More memories for a photo album full of historic Erie winters.