Home & Garden

Mixed Feelings Abound Regarding 'Big Dig Sunday,' Following 'Snowy Saturday'

West Orange mom Courtne Jones and her children: Chase, 7, Dash, 8, Camden, 3, and Logan, 4, spend time sledding on Sunday. Credits: W. L. Bill Allen, Jr.
June Smith II, on the right, and his nephew Kyle Green, on the left, spend time shoveling on Sunday. Credits: W. L. Bill Allen, Jr.
The Armstrong family digs out on Sunday. Credits: W. L. Bill Allen, Jr.

WEST ORANGE, NJ - While this weekend's wicked weather may—or may not—have brought the largest snow storm in West Orange area history, one thing is clear, ‘Snowy Saturday’ did deliver overwhelming amounts of the frozen precipitation to the area... and locals had mixed feelings on the situation.

Among those most content, though, had to be the township's approximately 10,000 youngsters, who were able to enjoy a sunny Sunday that saw sledding and ski-boarding aplenty in myriad locations across the township, to go along with thousands of snow angels and snowmen/snow sculptures dotting front yards seemingly everywhere.

Added to those outdoor activities was the fact that the 11 West Orange Public Schools were closed on Monday, as, according to a source at the West Orange Board of Education, “Even though the DPW did a great job of clearing the vast majority of streets in the township, there were still some streets that were not completely plowed and, with the number of buses that we need, it simply made sense to not have schools open on Monday.”

Sign Up for E-News

As a result, in an apparent abundance of caution, the township's approximately 7,300 public school students had a snow day on Monday.

There are four snow days built into the WOBOE calendar. All four were used last year and this was the first to be used during the 2015-16 slate. Another snow day will be used for Tuesday, as Superintendent Jeff Rutzky announced on Monday evening that all public schools will be closed on Jan. 26. He also said that all school activities will be canceled too.

So, while the kids were pleased with the snow—there is the other side of the coin for the adults who had to move the mounds of white stuff.

“To put it simply, it sucks,” June Smith II, a member of the Seton Hall Prep Class of 1975 and a 1979 graduate of Seton Hall University, said straight forwardly, as he and his nephew Kyle Green worked for hours to clear his Gregory Avenue property.

“We dodged a bullet, but we got a lot more (snow) than I expected...a lot more,” he said. “What I mean is that the lights stayed on, the heat stayed on. We did lose one of our trees, but that wasn't a big deal.”

He added, “I guess I should have tried to do some of this during the storm on Saturday. But I just figured 'Hey, I'll do this all at once.' That was big mistake. Now, I'm paying for it and I'm just glad that Kyle is helping.”

Smith's nephew, Green, a member of the WOHS Class of 2015, emphasized the fact he hates shoveling.

He said, “I didn't know it was going to be like this, but I guess it could've been worse. Coming out on the second day and doing all this?”

“Snow, I hate it, but I do wish we had started on Saturday, instead of doing all this at once,” Green added.

A former Mountaineers halfback and free safety, Green, who now attends Kean University, where he is studying to become an athletic trainer, said he was thankful for his athletics background.

“I'll tell you this, if not for being a football player, I probably would've busted my butt a couple of times by now from falling down,” he stated.

As Green said those words, his snow shovel broke with a loud bang.

“Wow, if I hadn't been a football player, that might've been my arm, instead of the shovel,” he said.

Just down the street, in the midst of a sledding session on the hill behind the Gregory School with her four youngsters: Chase, 7, Dash, 8, Camden, 3, and Logan, 4, Courtne Jones said, “It did take about two hours to get our car back on the street, but, overall, it's been a lot of fun. The kids got to go sledding and make their first snowman of the year, so, in that respect, it's a good thing.”

Perhaps the members of the Armstrong Family, Rumold, Jarian and Inga, of Pleasant Valley Way, summed things up best when they took just a moment to be photographed, before Jarain, a 1999 Montclair High alum, cut the image session short by saying, “Hey, thanks a lot, but we really have to get going and get all this shoveling done and over with.”

Click HERE to "LIKE" the TAP into West Orange Facebook page and see more photos in the album.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Brrr, It’s Old! Come Inside the West Essex YMCA to Explore Summer Camp Fun

February 7, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — While the thermometer may not budge above 40 degrees, the summer planning season is here. Families are invited to a summer camp information session at the West Essex YMCA from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Throughout the summer, the West Essex YMCA runs five development-appropriate programs for children ages 3 1/2 to 15, building self-esteem, confidence ...

Paterson Firefighter Opens Up About Struggles, Urges Others not to Suffer in Silence

February 8, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Not a week goes by when a tale of heroism and bravery on the part of firefighters is not told. For them, running into a burning building is as natural as running out of one is for the rest of us.

That became apparent again on Monday when members of the Paterson Fire Department responded to a fire at 268 Main Street, which led to the eventual total collapse of ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.


That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?


In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...