Afternoon papers put special pressure on finding images the same day. If snow fell a phone call might come in before sunrise to get out and find a picture by first light and hustle back to the paper to develop, edit and print so the presses could run at noon with a picture from the same day. Today with cell phones in every hand instant communication is easy but back then you had to have a good idea of where to head or the search would come up short.
Snowfall in this region is a rare and capricious thing. A few degrees and the rain washes away the flakes and the picture is gone. The last thing a photographer wants to hear is “You should have been here an hour ago.”
This snowfall dropped in a band from the high ground on Highway 41 to Shandon and Parkfield. Shandon got the most, 4 inches but as the sun came up most of the flakes turned to raindrops.
The papers were then distributed in the afternoon throughout the county and if everything went according to plan it would be on doorsteps that had snow in the morning with a photo of the event to greet people as they came home from work.