Larry Blizzard

Born in 1945 in Carroll County, Larry talks about growing up with his eight brothers and two sisters.


LARRY BLIZZARD: Larry Steven Blizzard, born September 1, 1945.

INTERVIEWER: And where were you born?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Born in the little house across the street here beside the church over here.

INTERVIEWER: The old church?

LARRY BLIZZARD: The old church.

INTERVIEWER: Did it have an address? It didn’t, did it, at the time?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It– yes, it– I don’t know exactly the address name right now. But, uh–

INTERVIEWER: So all your mail went to the post office.


INTERVIEWER: All your mail went to the post office, OK. And, um, can you tell me what the neighborhood looked like when you were growing up?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It’s basically the same as it is right now. This is– [INAUDIBLE]– no real new homes. In fact, the house I’m living in here right now is probably the newest one’s been built down here. No, I’m telling you– there’s a couple have been built here. But it hasn’t changed a whole lot. It’s typical same old little town.

INTERVIEWER: Same old little town. OK. Well, let me get a little bit close in here. There we go. That’s it. That’s what I need. There we go. Excellent. That’s wonderful. OK. And, um, did the house have water, running water, or electricity when you were living there, the place across the street?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No water. No running war. We had electricity though.

INTERVIEWER: You did have electricity. So how did you get water? Can you tell us about that?

LARRY BLIZZARD: We had a spring down– we all shared. The neighbors shared a spring down there.

INTERVIEWER: And how did you get the water? How did that work?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Just take a bucket down the spring and just bring it up for your dishes or whatever and your bath water. And we didn’t have the bathroom. We had the old wash tubs as we call them. That’s what we take a bath in more or less.

INTERVIEWER: Oh. And how many brothers and sisters did you have– do you have?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Eight brothers and two sisters. I got three brothers that are deceased now.

INTERVIEWER: OK. OK. And, um, can you describe a typical day, um, when you were growing up?


INTERVIEWER: Like, what was it like? When did you get up to– when did you sort of get up as a kid? Do you remember? Let’s talk about the time when you lived across the street.

LARRY BLIZZARD: OK. Basically it was everyday routine more or less. Get up and go to school.

INTERVIEWER: What time did you get up?

LARRY BLIZZARD: We’d get up around 7:30, 8:00.

INTERVIEWER: And what did you have for breakfast? Do you remember your sort of favorite breakfast your mom used to cook?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I guess most the time it’d be like eggs, more or less. Eggs, cereal.

INTERVIEWER: So your mom would get up and fix breakfast?


INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, where did you go to school?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Sandy Mount, the elementary school, for six years. And, uh, Westminster High School.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, what do you remember about your neighbors? Anything in particular? Anybody interesting that stuck out in your mind as a kid?

LARRY BLIZZARD: All neighbors were– everybody– all neighbors were really friendly here. No one had a problem. No one had a grudge against anybody. But everybody got along real well. I mean, if somebody needed help, you go to a neighbor and no one would refuse you.

INTERVIEWER: Is it the same today?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes, as far as I know. Yes. Of course there’s a lot of newer people around now too more. And–

INTERVIEWER: How does that work out? Is that working out, OK? Are the new people fitting in all right?


INTERVIEWER: And, um, what did your father do for a living?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Daddy, he worked down– it was called the American Allen Piston Ring down in Baltimore. And he was down there. He operated the furnaces and stuff down there for making the rings and piston rings and stuff like that.

INTERVIEWER: Oh. And did your mother work in the home or outside of the home?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No. She didn’t work at all.

INTERVIEWER: She worked in the home.

LARRY BLIZZARD: At home. OK, yeah.

INTERVIEWER: She was a homemaker.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah, homemaker. Right.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, did you ever go with your father to work? Did you ever go down to where he worked?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I went down with him one time to interview for a job. And that’s the only time I was ever down there. And they took me through the plant and showed me. I never did get the job. I took a different job because running to Baltimore from here was a little long ways to go.

INTERVIEWER: How’d your father get there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: They had– well, his neighbors is about five or six, like, a couple from Westminster, and they would all meet up. And they all car pooled in. Like, one person would drive one week and the next person drives the next week. So they took time sharing their car and all that there and all riding together.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, OK. And, uh, do you remember your first job in Carroll County?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes. It’s a little place called Row and Controller out on Bethel Road.

INTERVIEWER: Called what?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Row and Controller it was called then at the time.

INTERVIEWER: What’d you do there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: And out there you’re making like cabinets and stuff like that. Not wooden cabinets, the metal cabinets, and things like that there.

INTERVIEWER: So what was your job there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I couldn’t describe the name what it really was now. But I liked what I was doing and all. More or less I was like a punch, uh, drilling holes for metal cabinets and stuff like that there. I’d mark them off and make the holes, punch the holes in them for, like, your fittings when you put them together.


LARRY BLIZZARD: And I’d punch press an operator, like, bend the material and stuff. Two or three different things I could do.

INTERVIEWER: How old were you?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Right then I was right around the sixteen– eight– sorry. About 17, 18. 18. I’ll get it here in a minute. Yeah. About 18.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, what did you do for fun as a kid?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, we’d go to carnivals and the like. And we used to walk more or less like to Hampstead, which is about six mile and Reese. And we got what we call the swimming hole down here at the railroad tracks. We called it the mud seal. And we’d be in the creek all summer long swimming and all.

INTERVIEWER: Did you play baseball?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. We played. We had a little diamond down here. We had a diamond we [INAUDIBLE]. And we had one up the road. We played softball and baseball.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Were you good?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Average, I guess.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. [LAUGHS]. And, um, let’s see here. As a young adult– what was your school like? Do you remember maybe the size of your classes or anything about your teachers?

LARRY BLIZZARD: The school was more or less like one room. I mean, it was a bunch of rooms. But we had– I forget how many people. But, uh, you didn’t go to different classes. You more or less had the same teacher for everything, more or less.

INTERVIEWER: And did you walk to school?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No. We had the school buses running to school.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, you did? So it ran you up to Sandy Mount Elementary?


INTERVIEWER: And so all your brothers and sisters and you all went up there together on the bus. Well, the ones that were in school.

LARRY BLIZZARD: The ones that were in school, yes. Right, right.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, what do you see as the most difference between kids in school today and how school used to be when you were growing up?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, there’s– I don’t know exactly how to describe it. But, uh, back then school– I mean, if you did something wrong you got corrected in school a lot. And they’d notify your parents.

INTERVIEWER: How did they correct you?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, to tell you the truth, one time I got caught smoking when I was younger. And I got a paddle. And I wouldn’t go home and tell my father I got paddled or I’d get it again. And which– I thought that was good. But nowadays is you–

INTERVIEWER: You can’t do that.

LARRY BLIZZARD: You can’t do that anymore, which, uh– now, I mean, that would have been good for correction for bringing the children up nowadays. But now some days– I think now for people going to school and you’re not being corrected there it might have something to do with some of the drug problems or stuff right now.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Yeah. And do you remember– where did your mother go for groceries? Where did your mother shop for groceries when you were a kid?

LARRY BLIZZARD: We had a store called Acme and A&P. And did most of the shopping, I believe, at Acme’s in Westminster.

INTERVIEWER: In Westminster. Was it like on the Main Street or–

LARRY BLIZZARD: It was right off of 140 now up there.

INTERVIEWER: OK. OK. And where did your clothes come from? Did your mother make your clothes or did she buy them or– where did you all get your clothes from?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, she bought them. And a lot of times people would give you clothes if you’d outgrown that stuff I got there because dad and mom, they couldn’t have really afford a whole lot of stuff back then because ten– we raised ten of us. It was rough for a little while. But things got better.

INTERVIEWER: Wow. So 10 kids.

LARRY BLIZZARD: 10 is what it was all together. 10 of us.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, do you remember about going into the stores? Do you remember anything about the stores in Westminster, what it was like when you used to go in there with your mom? Or can you remember anything sort of– maybe even how they smelled or what they looked like or what was in there or what the people were like? Anything at all that you could think of.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, they were laid out a little bit different and all like that there.

INTERVIEWER: How do you mean?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Just like everything was more or less together. And they wasn’t that big of a store more or less. You can find things closer together than what they are now. They’re way spread out now. Like, you got a food department in one place and you get other things.

INTERVIEWER: So it was all, like, compact.


INTERVIEWER: Not as much for sale.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Right. Exactly. Yes.

INTERVIEWER: OK. Do you remember any of the shopkeepers or sales people from the period when you were a kid? Did anybody ever stand out in your mind?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No. Not really. I can’t remember, you know, the people’s names or whatever.

INTERVIEWER: What about the people here in Patapsco that had the shops here. Do you remember anything about them? Because they used to have little stores here in Patapsco.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. The ones that I know, growed up with them more or less down there because I worked at the store down here called Moody’s Store. And I worked for him. I just, you know, I’d spend the money to go to carnival or something like that there. And they were real nice people.

INTERVIEWER: Was that where the Whistle Stop is?

LARRY BLIZZARD: That’s where the present Whistle Stop is right now.

INTERVIEWER: And sort of what did he sell in that store? Do you remember?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, he had meats. He’d go to like the Westminster, I think, Hall and sort of– or someplace like that there and buy like a quarter of cow or a half and like that there. And he’d have that there. And he had bread, and milk, and canned stuff, and pretty well what you can get in the stores nowadays. But he wasn’t real big. It wasn’t real big. I mean, it’s just, uh, convenient for you to only have to walk to the store and get what you wanted.

INTERVIEWER: What did you do when you worked there? What sort of chores did you have to do?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, I’d stock his shelves for him when the food come in. And soda, I’d keep his soda machines filled up and stuff like that there and–

INTERVIEWER: How much did he pay you?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I don’t remember. It wasn’t a whole lot at the time. But it was enough to have spending money. I guess maybe $8 or $10 a week maybe something like that there.

INTERVIEWER: Really? And so what did you spend your money on?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, I’d go to carnivals or in the summertime or something like that there. And most candy and stuff like that there.


LARRY BLIZZARD: Junk, right.

INTERVIEWER: What was your favorite place to go when you were growing up?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I guess the movies, probably. I used to like to go to, in Westminster, the Carol Theater it was called. That there– a bowling alley called Riffles in Westminster.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, where was the bowling alley?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It’s down on– it’s right across from the– was across from the old Armory in Westminster down there, which, uh, I forget the name of the street now. I know it, but I just can’t think of it right now.

INTERVIEWER: That’s OK. And, um, and what can you tell me about the carnivals? I mean, you keep mentioning that. Can you tell me a little bit about what the Carnivals were like? What did they have there? What did you do there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, at the carnivals I like the music, country music and all. They always had country music there. And then I liked all the rides that they had like the Ferris Wheel and some of the rides that they had. And it was a get together. You see a lot of people, meet people, and all like that there, which the same as today. But they’re a lot bigger and better right now I’d say today. But they were fun back then too.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Um, did– uh, let’s see. And your favorite thing was to go to these carnivals? That’s what you were saying?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Carnivals and, like, the bowling alley.

INTERVIEWER: What would you have most liked to have changed about Carroll County when growing up in your early years?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I couldn’t say anything. I mean, I was– I’ve been here 63 years and I love it. I mean, it’s a– you’re not– you got all your neighbors. It’s like you know, like– everybody who you know– seems like you know everybody. But I– I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

INTERVIEWER: And can you think of any one thing from childhood, any one vivid memory that really pops to mind from your childhood, any one thing that really stood out?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes. The flood in Agnes is something I’ve never seen. It washed two bridges out down here.

INTERVIEWER: Oh. So can you tell me about that?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. They were old bridges. There’s one out here right at the sections of Wesley Road and Patapsco road. That bridge, they had the old time, like, tunnels going through it. Like, three– well, not tunnels. But they were pipes, like– it’s only a– not that long. Maybe eight foot long or something like that there. And you had three. And the bridge– when the trees and stuff, the flood come in– it come down [INAUDIBLE] mountain. Just washed the whole bridge out.


LARRY BLIZZARD: Then we had one about down– well, down here– down at the railroad tracks again. There was another bridge that washed out down there. And I remember the Army engineers come in and put a bridge in temporarily until they got one fixed up for us.

INTERVIEWER: So the bridges that are now across Wesley and Patapsco road are new bridges since Agnes.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Since Agnes, right.

INTERVIEWER: And Agnes was in 70–

LARRY BLIZZARD: ’76, I think.



COMPUTER: You’ve got mail.



INTERVIEWER: Oh, there you go. And, um, let’s see. If you were to describe what is best about Carroll County to someone who’s never visited what would you say?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It’s– it’s pretty. It’s a town and it’s, uh, not, uh– I’d say it’s quiet. In other words, it’s no crime or nothing that have down here or seen any crime or nothing like that there. And it– it’s quiet. It’s just you’re not in the city where noise and all kinds of noise things like that there and crime going on. But as far as Carroll County here, I can’t say there’s ever been really anything bad that I can say about it. But I would recommend people if they liked it out– it’s not new developments, not a whole lot of new developments going on. So everything you see right now and where I’m living right now, it’s no one going to build around you. It’s not enough. It’s just a rural area where you can’t– no one will build around you.

INTERVIEWER: OK. Now I want you to talk to me about the old church that you lived in as a kid across the street. Can you describe, for example, did you go in through the center doors? Or was that side door put in when you lived there? Did you go in through the front door–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes, the front door.

INTERVIEWER: With the two double doors?

LARRY BLIZZARD: With the two double doors. Yes, we went in there. Right.

INTERVIEWER: So that side door wasn’t there.

LARRY BLIZZARD: It might have been there a little bit later.

INTERVIEWER: Later. OK, so when you walked in through the front door, was there– at one time was there a stained glass window over the archway? Do you remember if there was– what was over the archway or was it just plain glass?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I think there were stained glass a few in there.

INTERVIEWER: OK. So when you walked into that church, can you tell me what it looked like? Because with 12 people living in that building, how was it– did you have a second floor and you lived up and down?


INTERVIEWER: Or was it all wide open?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It up– we had a upstairs to it and, like, three– one, two, three. Three or four bedrooms upstairs. And–

INTERVIEWER: And then the downstairs.

LARRY BLIZZARD: And the downstairs.

INTERVIEWER: So what did it look like on the inside? I mean, can you describe sort of how maybe it was furnished or how it was laid out? Where was the kitchen, for example, in there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It– the kitchen was more or less– it was laid out a little bit. The kitchen had, like, a separate room in it.

INTERVIEWER: Where was the kitchen? If you were to–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Downstairs. If you walk into the door, the kitchen would have been straight back of the church were the kitchen would have been.

INTERVIEWER: All the way against the back wall?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Against the back wall, it would have been, yes.

INTERVIEWER: So what was on the ground floor when you walked in? What did you– what would you see? What was the ground floor of the church? Because you had the upstairs where the bedrooms were, and then the ground floor. So what was that like? What did that look like?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It was just normally a table, couple tables, and uh, your China closet as you call them. That tele– your television and all. But it was a little bit crowded. You had the two separate rooms down there, like, uh, I mean– it was still a little crowded for all of us and all.

INTERVIEWER: So two rooms, sort of a living room and the kitchen.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Sort of. Something, yes, like that there.

INTERVIEWER: And can you remember what years your family lived there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I’m going to say– well, like I said, I was born and raised right beside the church and I lived there–

INTERVIEWER: Oh, beside the church. So–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. Right where you’re living now is where I was born. My grandma was there. Mom– all 10 of us were born at home in, uh–

INTERVIEWER: In my house?

LARRY BLIZZARD: In the house that you’re living in right now, yes.

INTERVIEWER: I did not know that.

LARRY BLIZZARD: My grandmother lived there. And she, uh, she delivered mom’s– all her grandchildren most of the time.

INTERVIEWER: So you lived in my house first.


INTERVIEWER: Born there.



LARRY BLIZZARD: We were living in the church at the time. But I mean I was just, but birth, when mom was ready– birth–

INTERVIEWER: How great. So your parents lived in the old church next to me.


INTERVIEWER: And your grandparents lived in my house.


INTERVIEWER: And you were all– all your brothers and sisters were born in my house.

LARRY BLIZZARD: No, not all of them. Just a few of us.

INTERVIEWER: A few of you. OK. OK. And your grandmother delivered you?


INTERVIEWER: Wow. That’s impressive. And, um–

LARRY BLIZZARD: In fact, she delivered maybe a few others here in Patapsco too.

INTERVIEWER: Really? Your grandmother? She was like a midwife was she or just an experienced–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Just experienced, I think. Yes.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And can you tell me about– let’s talk about life here in Patapsco. I mean, for example, I know we talked about you going to the carnival and everything. But what did you actually do at the end of the day? You came home from school. What was sort of– what did you do when you came home from school? I mean, were there, were there activities or things that you did or– What was it like? I mean, did you all sort of hang out on the porch or what did you actually do? Do you remember any typical day?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, a lot of times we’d all be down at the store there. And he would stay open until, like, 10:00 at night. And, you know, you go down there and have a Coke or an ice cream or something like that there. Then, uh, you get home from school. Usually everybody would go to the river, the creek down here. We called in the Mud Seal and go swimming and something like that there.

INTERVIEWER: But what would you do in the winter time when it was cold and you couldn’t do that?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, the winter time, we used to go sleigh riding. I mean, I remember back then when it snowed, you know, it was hard for the snow plows and to get in here some time. We used to go up the hill, up past your house, and come down and go clean out across the railroad tracks down here where the whistle stop is. We’d come down the hill and– because a lot of times the snow plows just didn’t have enough time. And we’d be sleigh riding right out on the roads there, on the county roads.


LARRY BLIZZARD: Then we’d have– up in the back of my house– the hill up here, we’d come down them hills too. We’d all get a– it’d be a bunch of kids, you know. Everybody just– wintertime, when it snowed, we loved it. Sleigh riding all the time. Then we made a couple– in the– well, we made, like, homemade go-carts. We’d just figure out something, get an axle or a rod and put four wheels on it and try to put brakes on it ourselves and have fun in that there.

INTERVIEWER: That’s great. Well, it must have been great having so many brothers and sisters. You always had somebody to hang out with. You always had your own crowd.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Right. Right. Right. Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So I guess the Whistle Stop was sort of the, um, uh, sort of central focus point of the village.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Just a general store, yes, uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: And that’s where everybody hung out.

LARRY BLIZZARD: And the post office was in the post office. In fact, we had a post office right across from the church here, right beside the church a little while there before we, uh, went to Finksburg. Because it used to be Patapsco post office here. And that was–

INTERVIEWER: So was it the Whistle Stop first was the post office and then the little post office?

LARRY BLIZZARD: In the Moody’s Store down there, the post office was there first. Then, uh–

INTERVIEWER: And then when did it come up here to this little house?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I’m– I don’t know exactly what year it was. But it was there for, I want to say back in the ’60s, early ’60s. And it closed and the office went down to Finksburg.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, OK. That’s what happened. OK. So I was thinking it was the other way around. OK.

LARRY BLIZZARD: I remember– going back again what things do, used to love to see the train pick the mail up outside the store down there.

INTERVIEWER: How did they do that?

LARRY BLIZZARD: It’s just they had it like a arm on a train, that thing there. They’d get it, and they’d just grab a bag, you know, as the postmaster, he’d put it out there. And the train would keep on moving a lot of times if it didn’t stop. It’s just like a arm, like a mechanical arm, something like that there, and take the bag there.

INTERVIEWER: And did you ever catch that train? Did you ever the ride the train?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes. We had a passenger train went from there to Westminster. And I remember it was a quarter, I think, to go to Westminster. But it left around six, between six and seven. But you had to get a taxicab to come back home because it would only pick you to take you to Westminster where you could go to Baltimore. But you couldn’t get your round trip from Westminster. You couldn’t get a round trip. Like, we’d leave on Saturdays or Friday evenings at six or seven. And then you had to find your own way home. Get a taxi or whatever.

INTERVIEWER: From Baltimore?

LARRY BLIZZARD: From Westminster. No, Baltimore, you could– I very remember. I mean, not long after I was– I wasn’t that old. And they quit running. The passenger trains quit running.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, OK. OK. Um, what was it like to ride the passenger train? What did they– is it very different from what they look like today?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, I haven’t been on a train since 1966 when I was in the army. Last time I’ve been on a train. So I really couldn’t tell you what– I mean, it was fun. I liked it. You could go up through Patapsco there. It wasn’t no big city or nothing. You’d just see, uh, wilderness and all like, you know.

INTERVIEWER: Do you remember any of the animals that used to come around? There used to be different kinds of animals down here, didn’t there? I mean, you see a lot of different kind of animals.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, you see deer and foxes and ground hogs, possums, and a few things like that there, rabbits, and squirrels.

INTERVIEWER: The same we still have today.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Same as we have today.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, let’s see here. So– what was I going to say? So you were born and raised here. You lived here your whole life. What did you do for a living for most of your life, most of your adult life?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I worked for Black & Decker for 34 years in Hampstead.

INTERVIEWER: What did you do for them?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Over there I’d run machinery, running grinders for a while, and milling machines and–

INTERVIEWER: What did they make? Tools?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. We made tools. We made power saws, drills, and stuff– household tool items and all.

INTERVIEWER: Oh. And you worked for them 34 years?

LARRY BLIZZARD: 34 years. And about the last 10 years they were starting to close down. Then I worked in the warehouse for trucks come in. I’d unload trucks and, uh, load stuff to ship it out and stuff like that there.

INTERVIEWER: OK. I didn’t even know they had a Black & Decker. It’s closed down now, the Black & Decker–

LARRY BLIZZARD: No, it’s still– they got what we call a powder metal plant Black & Decker. But they’ve sold the building out of Chicago. But there is a– Black & Decker still got a place in there called powdered metal. But they’re just leasing the building now. They sold it. In other words, leasing it back from the people they sold it to, parts of it. And there’s different things in it now, different shops over there, different companies.

INTERVIEWER: Do you have any– we haven’t talked about your family. Do you have any children?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Never got married.

INTERVIEWER: Never got married, OK. All right. And, um, your brothers and sisters, there’s 10 of you. Can you tell me the names of everybody starting with your mother and father?

LARRY BLIZZARD: You want the deceased and all?

INTERVIEWER: I want everybody. Start with your parents and go down from the oldest down to the youngest.

LARRY BLIZZARD: OK. Daddy’s name was George Blizzard. And mom’s name was Claudine Blizzard.

INTERVIEWER: What was her maiden name?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Wagner. Claudine Wagner. And the oldest brother was George Edward. And the next one would have been Russell Blizzard. And he, uh, got killed, uh, right after graduation, about two weeks after he graduated from school in an automobile accident.


LARRY BLIZZARD: Then, uh, well, on down, Mel. There was Mel. I’m giving you the oldest brothers. And there’s Row.

INTERVIEWER: Is Mel a boy or a girl?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Mel. Melvin. Boy. Yeah. Melvin Leroy Blizzard. Then Rowan Blizzard next. Then Joan Blizzard would be next. And Douglas Blizzard next. Them myself, Larry Blizzard. Then I got a sister, Silvia Blizzard. Then I got another brother, Wilson Blizzard. And the youngest one, Gordon Blizzard.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, my gosh. Do you know how your parents met?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I don’t really know. No. I probably could, but I just can’t recall it right now.

INTERVIEWER: OK. All right. So they must’ve been married a long time.


INTERVIEWER: And then so when did your family move out of the little church?

LARRY BLIZZARD: We moved right here where I’m at right now approx– I think it– 1958, I believe is when we moved in.

INTERVIEWER: So you moved into the house that was on this block here.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Right. Now, all the brothers and sisters wasn’t born in the church here. But there was some in Carrolton. The older ones were Carrolton. Myself– I think it was about four of us over here. And that’s, well, like I say, I’m 63. And the others, I’ve got a couple that’s older than me. So they might even born somewhere else.

INTERVIEWER: What were the meals like? Let’s say a typical– you come home and you’re going to have your evening supper. Can you tell me– can you remember anything about that? Like, maybe what did your mother fix? What was your favorite food?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Oh, we loved fried chicken. And loved– mom used to fix– they say Mrs. Claudine can fix the chicken. And people come up here. And I’d have to wait. She’d feed the neighbors before she’d feed us more or less.


LARRY BLIZZARD: You know, which is, I mean, like, you can wait. They want some chicken or something like that there. And that just make me a little mad. Like, I wanted the chicken but they give it to somebody that wasn’t in the family. She would do that there. And squirrel pot pie, that– we all wanted. We had squirrel pot pie, which loved it grilled, you know, in the wild. And some people say, well, how in the heck could you eat a squirrel or something?

INTERVIEWER: Tastes like chicken.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Rabbit. A lot of people like– yeah, a lot of people wouldn’t eat rabbit. But we loved it. And, like, hunting– when the seasons were in for it, we’d have that there.

INTERVIEWER: Wow. So what did you have with chicken? Like, potato salad or mashed potatoes?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Mashed potatoes and stuff like that there and gravy, make the gravy.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have any garden or anything? Did your mom grow any vegetables?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes. Yes, we had a small garden, not real big. But we had sweet corn, tomatoes, and stuff like that there.

INTERVIEWER: Where’d you grow that? Out behind the church?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No. We didn’t have it at the church. But where I’m living now, had it right up here where I’m living now right in the field. But I got it all planted and grass now. But we used to have corn and tomatoes and cucumbers and stuff like that there, cabbage, lettuce.

INTERVIEWER: So you had like a little allotment up the street.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. Just a– uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: OK. Well, that’s wonderful. And so I guess your mom canned things.


INTERVIEWER: A lot of stuff. Put stuff up for the winter.


INTERVIEWER: Can you tell me what– um, I’d really like to get a picture of what it was like. What did it look like inside that church? Can you remember, maybe– I’m pretty curious about the painting in the walls. Did you– the walls have on them a red sort of scalloping along the top. What did the walls? Did you paint over them or what?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I think, yes. We painted over them. I’m pretty sure that it’s painted over. Yes. Because that church was moved from, uh, I believe up in Carrolton, was moved down here. They said the horse and buggy and things had moved it down here in 1905 I think it was.

INTERVIEWER: 1909 actually.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Or 1909, whatever.


LARRY BLIZZARD: But I don’t remember a whole lot about it. But just typical. I mean, just like you say, I think they painted over it. It wasn’t like if you’d walk in a church nowadays. I don’t remember. It might have been one or two, like, stained glass in there or something like that there.

INTERVIEWER: And what about the basement? What’s the basement like in there?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, we just, uh– it wasn’t dugout real deep or anything. It was just where you’d go in there, you put stuff– the dirt floors and all like that, never cemented or anything in there.

INTERVIEWER: The whole thing is a dirt floor?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes, it was. Yes.

INTERVIEWER: OK. And, um, but if you had that room in there– because I know they’ve taken out the– he took out something. You had it partitioned between the top floor and the ground floor.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah. Yes, uh huh. We had the stairway. I don’t know if the stairway’s there now or not.

INTERVIEWER: It is. It’s still there. It’s still there. But was there much headroom upstairs? I mean–


INTERVIEWER: It was a full–

LARRY BLIZZARD: You had the full head room.


LARRY BLIZZARD: You could go up there, yes, uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: So with 10 kids, how did everybody sleep? I mean–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, all 10 of us didn’t live there at the same time. I mean, it was only like, uh, let’s see, I’d say five of us, more or less. But uh–

INTERVIEWER: OK. At one time?

LARRY BLIZZARD: At one time, yes.

INTERVIEWER: At one time, OK. Because such a broad range in ages I should, think–


INTERVIEWER: Between. What’s the–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, there might have been six or seven because one or two brothers, they got married young and they, you know, they moved out then, whatever.

INTERVIEWER: OK. You know, you remember the show “The Waltons” and how everybody used to say good night.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes. Good night, yeah. [INAUDIBLE].

INTERVIEWER: I wondered if it was something like that.

LARRY BLIZZARD: No. No, we didn’t do that. I mean, everybody went to bed on their own more or less unless, uh– I mean, we never was told exact the time to get in or whatever, you know because, uh, we were just trusted. Because I’d come in a little late sometime. And, mom, she’d never go to sleep until she heard me. I’d be the last one to get in out of the– more or less.

INTERVIEWER: Did you sleep in bunk beds or were all the beds singles laid out on the floor?

LARRY BLIZZARD: They were all single beds, yes.

INTERVIEWER: Laid out on the floor.

LARRY BLIZZARD: And a couple of us, we slept together then back then.



INTERVIEWER: What did you, uh, what did you do– I mean, how were your clothes arranged? Did you all have dressers or was stuff in boxes? Like, my family, we had stuff in– we had a big family. And a lot of our clothes were in boxes.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, we had similar to that there too. I mean, there was some closet room space like that there. And some you just lay like in a box beside your bed or something like that there.

INTERVIEWER: And that’s where you put your stuff. Where did you do your school work? Did you sort of all sit around the big table in the– downstairs in the kitchen and do your schoolwork?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Pretty well, yes. We had a table with benches, like, a big table with benches. We didn’t have a whole lot of chairs then. But we just had the regular benches, you know, that hold four or five of you on each side. Like, the table and we’d have two benches. Maybe one or two chairs. But, uh, but most of it was all benches and all.

INTERVIEWER: Well, the church is in pretty bad shape now. Do you think it should be saved or just tore down?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I would like to see it be saved if possible.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah? What would you– how would you like to see it used? What would you– What do you think would be a good use for it? It’s just used as a shed now.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah, right. I don’t know. It could be, like, something maybe you put in there, like, a little library or something maybe or something like that there I would say would maybe, you know, if it be fixed up inside and on the outside something like that there just for–

INTERVIEWER: That’s exactly what I have in mind. Yeah. OK. OK, good. Now, um, is there anything in particular you’d really like us to know about Patapsco and living here in Patapsco? What has it meant to you? You’ve spent your whole life here.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Like, I said, beautiful little town here. And like I say, everybody always your friends and all. I mean, I loved it. And like I say, no enemies or nothing like that. Everybody would help one another and all. And you’d go anybody’s neighbors and they’d all help you.



INTERVIEWER: Would you have liked to live anywhere else?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Maybe at times I might have– might have thought maybe of going to the city. You’d be closer to where more things you could do, you know, like Westminster or somewhere, which wasn’t that big then. It’s still not that big. But, uh, overall I loved it here.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. You still feel that way today?


INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s great. All right. And, um, so a lot of your brothers and sisters still live in the area or not?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes. Row– Doug lives about a mile and a half from me. Rowan’s about two miles. And I’ve got one, Gordon, lives in Manchester. And, uh, my older sister, she lives up Sabillasville, up near Camp David. And, Sylvia, she lives in Pennsylvania.

INTERVIEWER: OK. OK, great. And that’s all that’s left?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yeah, there’s, uh, seven of us now. I think I named them all. Gordon, Doug– well, Wilson, he lives in Pennsylvania. So that’s the one I left out.

INTERVIEWER: Do you all ever get together at Christmas or anything?

LARRY BLIZZARD: We used to years and years ago especially when mom was living. I mean, it’d be almost every Sunday, you know, or something like that there. In the summertime we’d have cookouts and things like that there. We used to be real– we were real close then. I mean, we’re close now. We’ll have cookouts and things now. And we’ll all go to, like, my sister’s or wherever. And we still do at sometime, like, maybe 4th of July, sometime we do that or holidays especially we go to one place like that.

INTERVIEWER: In the back of the church outside on the ground there are the remnants of a well, a square thing. Can you tell me what that was for?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, we actually did have a well there too, a spring there. It was a spring where we got water too for, like, wash clothes, you know, and stuff like that there. And it was water. I mean, it was actually a well there too.

INTERVIEWER: And what about the back house? Where was that actually situated?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Just down– just more or less than there like where the fence is now, where you’re at down there.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, really? OK, OK.


INTERVIEWER: Because I’m trying to figure out what the place looked like at the time.


INTERVIEWER: So that little spring–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Then we had– we had a little barn right behind, right behind the church, like, not directly behind it. But it was an old barn that was been torn down years ago down there. And we had the ball field down there too. I mean, us kids, we’d all go down there and mow it. And we had to cut trees and stuff down and keep it mowed on our own and all like that there. And we all played ball there.

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever find any old artifacts from, um, when people used to live here before. I know the Indians used to live here. Do you know if anybody ever found anything?

LARRY BLIZZARD: I don’t– I can’t recall right off hand.

INTERVIEWER: No? OK. OK. And, um, let’s see. Is that everything I need to know? Oh, yeah. The church had a bell tower on it. Did it have the bell tower on it when you lived there?


INTERVIEWER: And was the bell still in it?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Still ringing, yes. You could still ring. We had a rope. You could go out there and pull the string and ring the bell.


LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes, uh huh.

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever do that? I mean, did the–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Yes, done it a couple times. Yes.




LARRY BLIZZARD: Just for curiosity, you know, to hear it ring, you know, more or less.

INTERVIEWER: I don’t suppose you knew of any of the people that used to live there when it was actually a church– or used it when it was a church?


INTERVIEWER: Do you know any of the history of it?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No, really don’t.

INTERVIEWER: OK. OK, great. So your grandparents lived in my house?


INTERVIEWER: That’s nuts. And what were their names?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Uh, Willard Taylor and Eliza Taylor.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, they were Taylors?

LARRY BLIZZARD: Bertha, yes.

INTERVIEWER: OK, so it was your mother’s–

LARRY BLIZZARD: Well, no. I’m sorry. My grandmother was, uh, remarried to a Taylor. But she was a Wagner.

INTERVIEWER: She was a Wagner.

LARRY BLIZZARD: She was a Wagner, yes.

INTERVIEWER: OK, so that’s how your mother was a Wagner. OK. OK. All right. And then, uh, so they lived there. OK. All right. Anything else? Anything particular you’d like to say or tell me anything at all about living here or living in Carroll County?

LARRY BLIZZARD: No. Just, overall, like I say, I just love it. It’s a small little village town here or whatever, nice town village. But I just love it. And like I say, it’s quiet. Never no noise or nothing going on. And like I say, everybody is good people in this area and all.

INTERVIEWER: Good place to live.

LARRY BLIZZARD: Good place to live, yes.