No school

By Terry Economy | Sep 26, 2011

When I was in grammar school, aside from school vacations, which we looked forward to, the next best vacation day was the "no school storm day."

Every time there was a snowstorm, you could count on a day away from school. We would wake up on a snowy morning and wait until 7 a.m. when hopefully the no-school whistle would blow throughout Rockland.

When we heard the whistle there would be a shout "hooray, no school."  All the mothers of school children probably would say, "Oh no, what did we do to deserve this, having the kids home today."

From ages 10 to 13, I had a Portland Press Herald paper route in my home area. It would take me about one hour, 15 minutes to complete. On snowy mornings I would be bundled up in a snowsuit, woolen cap and scarf. I would get out my sled, which had a wooden box attached to it, to hold the newspapers, then pick up my papers at drop points and start my deliveries.

On snowy mornings, some of my customers would greet me with a fresh doughnut, muffin, or hot chocolate. Enough so I would not need any breakfast when I got home around 6:30 a.m.

When the no-school signal sounded, I would go back to bed for a couple of hours, while my sister, Virginia, would bake cookies or a cake.

On no-school days, we knew the Rockland Community Building would open at noon, and that there would be a 1:30 p.m. double feature movie at the Park Theater. So, we had an afternoon choice: Games, basketball or bowling at the Community Building or going to a double-feature movie.

When the snowstorm winded down in the late afternoon, we were encouraged by our parents to put on our snow suits and play outside building a fort, snowman, or igloo. When it got dark, we would go inside, listen to late afternoon radio serials, have supper, then a bath, and stay awake until 7:30 p.m. so we could listen to the Lone Ranger.

All through my adult life, every winter day when there is a snow storm in the morning, in my mind with a smile, no school today.

Terry Economy was born in Rockland. He graduated from Rockland High School and has had a long career in broadcasting, and is a member of the Maine Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (1)
Posted by: Phil Edwards | Sep 27, 2011 08:45

Fayetteville,NC (population over 200,000) does not own a single snowplow. None! Cumberland County (around 300,000) does not own one either.  When it snows here, even a light dusting, school is called off for the day. A single inch of snow on the roads is devastating to the folks here. One can see that they cannot drive in the stuff---all you can see is 'donuts'  all over the roads.  

If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps