By Sue Pascoe
Every Christmas, Highlands resident Alice Lynn regularly puts up an 8-ft. plywood snowman, which has been in her family for at least 35 years.
“Each year many friends and neighbors take pictures of their kids in front of it—as I have done with my kids and now grandchildren,” Lynn said.
Last year, she told her neighbor Tim Meade that she recalled seeing a cul-de-sac in Westchester, “where each house had a plywood snowman, and all were decorated differently.”
She mentioned to Meade that it might be fun if several of the neighbors also had one. “Everybody loves Alice,” Meade said, explaining why he agreed to make them “next Christmas.”
In October, it was time to keep his promise. “I sent out an e-mail to everyone in our neighborhood and asked who might be interested,” said Meade, who is an executive with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He soon realized, after receiving a request for 17 snowmen, that he would need an assembly line.
Carrie Richenbach-Soppe used Alice Lynn’s 8-ft. snowman and fashioned a pattern on a 5-ft. piece of plywood to use as a template.
“I had plywood, a jigsaw and a palm sander,” said Meade, who managed to convince a few friends, like Chris Francis (a fellow Loyola High School alum) to help. It took about 35 to 40 minutes to craft each snowman and then more time to create the kickstand brackets that enabled the snowman to stand.
Said Lynn: “Tim sanded each one, and painted them white, so that the families could add their special touch to the hats and in the painting of the eyes, nose and buttons—which he also cut and sanded.”
On December 9, everyone gathered for a snowman painting party on the basketball court behind the Avenida de la Herradura Recreation Center. It was held behind the recreation center on the basketball court. Each household painted and made their snowman unique—even Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer came to join in the holiday fun.
“It was truly one very special time in bringing neighbors together—old and young!” Lynn said. “Tim did a masterful job of creating great enthusiasm in our community and it is heart-warming to see his enthusiasm and how he brought our neighborhood together.”
And even though building is not Meade’s job, and he has a busy professional life, his attitude is: “I think we can all do something, no matter how small, and see the ripple effect.”
The neighbors would agree, particularly Lynn, who now has 17 new snowmen to join her longtime stand-alone.
“I am so heartened as I drive down my street to see the many snowmen cropping up in front of homes,” Lynn said. “On my cul-de-sac alone, we will have three, along with my ‘original’ from which they are cloned. It brings smiles!”