My First Snowball Riot

1967 Snowball "Riot"I transferred into Ohio University in Athens from Southeast Missouri State College my junior year. I was lucky to land a slot as staff photographer for The OU Post as soon as I hit campus.

I hadn’t been there long when we got what was a pretty hefty snow storm for that area. It was a lot like Cape in that respect: we got promised a lot of snow, but very little ever got delivered.

I pulled these out because it looks like Cape is going to get a big winter storm over the next few days.

Started out with snowball fights

1967 OU Snowball "Riot"The excitement started with impromptu snowball fights between students. It didn’t take long, however, before the Athens cops showed up with their bats and hats.  Most of them joined in the fun at first, batting down the snowballs with their riot batons and joking with students.

 The fun didn’t last long

1967 Snowball "Riot"Before long, though, they were vastly outnumbered and it became less fun.

It’s time to take back the streets

1967 Snowball "Riot"First, there was an organized attempt herd the more orderly students away from the area (even if they really wanted to go the other way).

Order turns to chaos

1967 OU Snowball "Riot"Eventually it became a student vs. police free-for-all.

Let’s make snowballs

1967 Snowball "Riot"Then somebody got the idea of rolling up some monster snowballs. Before long, there were several five or six-foot iceballs blocking the street. The authorities were not amused.

Call in the big guns

1967 OU Snowball "Riot" Somebody called in reinforcements in the form of snow plows and a motorgrader.

When an irresistible forces hits an immoveable object, unexpected consequences occur. Several parked cars suffered collateral damage

I think I like this school

1967 Snowball "Riot"My reaction was, “You know, I think I’m going to like this school. I never got to shoot anything like this at SEMO.” Little did I know what was going to be in store for me.

Photo gallery of the Snowball Riot

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.

6 Replies to “My First Snowball Riot”

  1. This is a test. Somehow or another, I must have checked a box that closed comments. This is making sure I turned them back on.

    If this was a real message, something of value might or might not be here.

  2. same time, different campus

    Winter rout

    Appreciable snowfalls in Fulton were relatively rare. Naturally when they occurred snowball fights between fraternities followed.

    During one such event on the Hill at least three houses with about 75 participants were engaged in a ferocious battle. I was wearing my souvenir helmet from the previous summer’s ROTC basic training.

    As the battle progressed, cars moving on Westminster Ave., although not primary targets, did suffer some collateral damage. In one case the vehicle stopped in front of the Phi Delt house, and its two occupants came charging out.

    It appeared to enough of the participants that the two black guys were looking to do something more than throw snowballs, and panic ensued with a rush to the houses. My companions were infected and dashed for the door like everyone else. For some reason I tried to stem the retreat, yelling that there were only two. This was like waving a red flag, and their focus became the guy in the helmet.

    As the incident developed the townies crossed a line, and entered the house intent on getting me. We sparred up the stairs where they overtook me on the second floor, and we ended up in the head with them trying to put my helmeted one in the urinal.

    Finally, rational minds returned to the brothers, enough rallying to escort the trespassers from the house. It was a real lesson in crowd mentality.

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