This is downtown Washington, D.C. (a block or so from the White House), on Saturday, as the District experienced its heaviest December snowfall on record. Well over a foot came down before it subsided Saturday night; if it tops 18.7 inches (and there's a good chance it will), it will be the largest snow virtually any Washingtonian alive today has ever experienced. (The only two above that amount occurred in 1922 and 1899.)
D.C. is often derided for its panicky behavior when even an inch of snow is forecast, but you can't fault the residents this time. I'm originally from Syracuse, N.Y., an area where you learn to like snow, but it would have had trouble handling this one, too. At least this took place on a Saturday (no solace to the merchants hoping for big crowds on the last Saturday before Christmas), and around the immediate area the snow was fairly lightweight and powdery, leading to relatively few downed trees or power outages.
So in honor of the inches and inches of white stuff, how about some photos of Carole Lombard in snow?
Hey, you're saying, Carole spent most of her life in Los Angeles. True, but there are a few pics of her in snow...and we're not referring to her childhood in Fort Wayne.
We'll start in early 1929, when Lombard was shooting her first all-talking picture, Pathe's (inappropriately titled) "High Voltage." Most of the film was set indoors, but a few exterior scenes needed to be shot in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains, so the 20-year-old actress, fellow cast members and crew went on location to do them:
While there, everyone assembled for a group picture, probably to impress their friends in L.A. about how they roughed it up north:
And here's Carol (no "e" in her name at the time, remember!) in a closeup:
That guy had better have received the green light from Lombard to place his hand on her leg...otherwise, he was bound to hear plenty of her famed inventive invective! (This was soon after Carol received instruction in using profanity from her two older brothers.) The woman at left is Diane Ellis, who became a friend of Lombard's and who also would be let go by Pathe before 1929 ended. Both moved to Paramount in 1930, with Ellis getting a nice supporting role in the Nancy Carroll film "Laughter," but after marrying, she developed a disease while on honeymoon in India and died near the end of 1930.
The other Lombard film I can think of with snow is her next to last, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" -- though I'm pretty certain the effects came on the RKO lot, not on location. Carole's character, Ann, has gone off to the Adirondacks, and one-time husband David (Robert Montgomery), has headed upstate to woo her back from his best friend (Gene Raymond):
If I've missed any other films where you see Carole in snow, please let me know.
Oh, one more thing -- because of the heavy snowfall in Washington on Saturday, Metro shut down its bus system and its above-ground rail service. So what's the alternative? The Ronettes have the answer with one of those "it's not a Christmas song, it's a winter song" classics -- "Sleigh Ride":