You're in good company. My father purchased our first color set in Fall of 1969. And merciful Mogg, do I remember him struggling with those bleedin' rabbit ears to reduce the "snow". Not eliminate it, simply reduce it to tolerable levels.
I never experienced "cable" (and thus a "snow free" image) until 1977 the year my father died I and I had to move where I still had family. Until then, intermediate "snow" was just part of the experience.
Today, I'm with DirecTV and oddly enough, things have come full circle in a way. When the weather turns foul, the image does not display "snowy" static, but it will begin to "pixelate" with the "blocks" growing ever larger until the signal is lost totally. While definitely annoying, I have to chuckle at the irony.