Today we had a small gathering at Park Place of all the people who were in town for the holidays. Our friend Jim-Jim is stationed in Iraq right now and couldn\'t be here. So we decided he\'d attend by proxy.
The weather has warmed up to the upper 30ies and the snow has begun to melt. The snow was wet enough for rolling snowballs. So I got to work around noon, rolling some gigantic snowballs using the remains of the late Hal Winters. To get large snowballs stacked for my snow people, I typically use a board for a ramp and slide the snowballs up on top the snow person. This ramp has to be pretty strong, since the snowballs weight quite a bit. So I normally use the basement door. It\'s solid wood and over an inch thick. (See a picture of the door prepared as a ramp.
) But I wanted Snow-Jim to be big-- real big. And the torso of this creation weight far too much for me to push up the ramp alone. The project was post-pone until around 4:00pm, when more of the crowd arrived.
Enter Andy, Adam, Zen and Caleb. With the 5 of us, the massive snowball started to ascend the ramp. When it got about 1/3 of the way up, the door cracked and the snowball slide off the side. Adam constructed a snow ramp to support the door and we tried again.. this time with success. We decided to stack pieces rather then entire snowballs, since the weight of the wet snow was too high to lift full snowballs into place. Slowly, the snowman began to grow, until it reached a heights of over 9 feet! Sgt. Snow-Jim was a monster; a snow person who dwarfed all my previous creations.
The initial snow stack
was just a pile of snow with no shape or smooth surface. The temperature had drooped low enough to make the snow dry out enough not to back well. So I knew the standard buildup I do to create a body wouldn\'t be an option with this snow-person. I concentrated on building a flat front surface in which to paint. This took quiet awhile. Since the snow was returning to powder, we had to add water before each shovel load
of buildup was added in order to keep it in place. In time, we had a flat front surface, and Sgt. Snow-Jim was complete.
Our creation didn\'t last more then a few hours before it succumb to it\'s own weight and poor quality of snow. None the less, Snow-Jim was a behemoth and served as a reminder of our good friend Jim Shea, who we all miss and hope returns swiftly from abroad.
WE LOVE YA JIM-JIM!