While firemen, public works employees, policemen and National Guardsmen battled one of the worst snowstorms in New England history, a party atmosphere reigned in Harvard Square as a multitude of students and Cambridge residents enjoyed the winter wonderland.
"Thank God for acts of God," said Nicholas H. Vanderbilt '80. "But I'm not looking forward to digging my car out."
Many students delighted in the sense of anarchy that prevailed yesterday, although some felt let down by Harvard's failure to overcome the forces of nature.
Richard L. Powell '79 said yesterday, "I had previously thought Harvard was invulnerable even to nuclear attack."
Cross-country skiers in droves hit the streets of Cambridge, which were closed to non-official vehicular traffic.
These are literally the best ski conditions I've ever seen. Mem Drive is fantastic," said Michael J. Tuteur '80.
The increased interest in skiing brought on by the heavy accumulation of snow proved profitable to purveyors of ski equipment in the Square.
"The skiing's great and we've rented loads of skis," Spaff Ackerly, an employee at Backpacker's Country sporting goods store, said yesterday.
Several freshman downhill skiers built themselves a free-style ski jump on the steps of Widener Library and proceeded to entertain a crowd of spectators which gathered in the Yard during the afternoon.
While the "hot-doggers" demonstrated their skiing talents on one side of Widener's steps, a horde of students slid down the other end on borrowed dining-hall trays.
Two daring freshmen jumped into Pusey Library's sunken courtyard, one of them seriously injuring his leg, Lieut. Francis P. Shannon of the University Police, said last night.
The two students were participating in what Shannon termed "dangerous fun." The first jumper survived the 40-ft. plunge into six feet of snow and was hauled up by ten freshmen who had witnessed his fall.
The second, who was not identified, jumped into the courtyard and struck his leg against a buried stone wall. Members of the Cambridge Rescue Squad took him to Cambridge City Hospital.
While most used their free time to relax and enjoy themselves, some students volunteered their services in Boston and Cambridge hospitals and relief centers.
An official at the Red Cross Center said yesterday that dozens of students from Harvard and other colleges offered to help at four centers around Cambridge.