Benjamin H. Stevens ’46

Stevens '46

Benjamin H. Stevens '46

(1929–1997)

In his Phillips Academy ’46 (50th) reunion musical revue, Ben Stevens wrote a song titled “Dizzy Blizzard.” He introduced it as follows: “Although some of us may remember it well, the great blizzard actually occurred in the winter of ’43 before many of us arrived, so you will just have to take Sammy’s word for it that classes were suspended and the PA students were hired—for pay—to shovel snow for the Boston Maine Railroad—a delightful change from the usual routine and, for some, a great learning experience.”

“Dizzy Blizzard”

I.
Day off from classes (oh wow!)
Steaming my glasses, I’m now
Shov’ling so the trains can make
It through their underpasses.

Supplies must get through! New gig:
Uncle Sam wants you to dig.
Switches froze, they’re shunting all
Those trains to East Timbuktu!

Even the Chattanooga Choo Choo
Must be sidetracked so guns can get through:
Berserk!

II.
Two Bits an hour (big time!)
Excess boypower, but I’m helping guys like me to win
The War for Eisenhower.

My muscles tell me (big ache!)
What this may well be: mistake!
Just can’t work as hard as that
Poor guy who soon will spell me.

He’s prob’ly been here all of his life,
Wages too small for man, kids and wife.
Rough work!

III.
I need a break now! (cocoa?)
I just don’t know how guys go
Digging on while colder than
The Nazi troops at Moscow.

Day off from classes (oh wow!)
Steaming my glasses, I’m now
Shov’ling so the trains can make
It through their underpasses.

I’m not so sure that I can go on;
Despite the free chow, strength is all gone!
Dunkirk!

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