Pat Shingleton: "Super Frosty and Sled Riding"
The end of January tends to be boring for residents in snow covered regions. A variety of outdoor activities from snow skiing to snow mobiling seem to ease the boredom. It seems that each year we receive another report of a unique snowman. An example is a few years ago when a 15-foot “Frosty the Snowman” was constructed in three hours and was fashioned with over sized twig arms, beef jerky cans for eyes and a Brillo pad mouth. In March of 1988, Myron L. Ace entered the Guinness Book of World Records by constructing a 63.5 foot snowman in Anchorage, Alaska. Myron’s giant sculpture was finalized with the assistance of eight friends, one of whom was a skilled crane operator who lifted 8-inch snow blocks to shape the snowman. Named “Super Frosty” it took three weeks to complete. Upon its completion, Anchorage was blasted with a 70 m.p.h. dust storm that turned the masterpiece into “Super Brown Frosty.” For me it was snow episodes from December through April with lots of sled-riding. It was all "down-hill" with a sled, toboggan, aluminum saucer or garbage can lid. Overnight, Nicky Sudano would coat the trail with water, creating an ice layer that increased speed, but perturbed drivers attempting to get up-the-hill. After the big snow it was meltdown time when sled-riding powder changed to squishy snow which was perfect for snowballs and forts. A bowling ball size of snow was rolled into a boulder. Once stacked end-to-end and vertically, a compartment for battle was ready. Both forts were about 20 feet apart with armies divided between the Shingleton's, Sudano's, Minett's and the Kelly's. It ended when paperboy Donnie Schlemmer was bombarded as he delivered the Ellwood City Ledger.