Ten Thumbs Page 10


Disasters are just part of a day's work in snow sculpting. When the triceratops head you've been working on for a couple hours falls off of the jolly fish you've been sculpting in the middle of the ice skating rink slowly topples over. Its a shame to misjudge the ability of the underlying snow to hold up the head, torso, or whatever that towers above it.

I've suffered from these and other lesser problems. Once someone, who obviously didn't like Bill Clinton,  knocked off his nose. It was easily repaired. someone put a huge read painted bullet wound in Santa Claus's head. There was so much stain that digging it out and replacing it with white snow turned Santa's beard red

But heat is the greatest threat. Of course at home this is only a small disappointment but when the Cable, Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce commissioned me to make a sculpture its melting was a catastrophe. It was meant to welcome skiers to the penultimate North American Cross Country Ski race, the Birkebiner. 

I decided to make "Snuggles" the fabric softener shill on television. I sculpted a dead ringer for him. 

Then I left town and the sun came out.

I returned to rebuild Snuggles the day before the race. The Chamber found a half dozen people to help me loft snow up the mound so I could put Snuggles back together.

I mentioned the other serious vandalism to my dancing bears on page 6. But once the vandalism was minor and quite amusing.

Claudia gave me a small statue of Phil my campaign manager. When we were pounded with the 40 inch Halloween blizzard of 1989 I decided to turn him into a gorilla as might as Kong himself. Phil was still morose so Claudia decided to make him a festive Santa hat. 

It seemed to cheer him up but then, a thief in the night stole his hat. As a joke they left a pint sized elf hat in its place. Shocked I advertised for its return.

I offered a bunch of bananas as a reward. Then I made a small compatriot for Phil and gave him the tiny hat. Word got out to a local radio station about the theft. The thieves called and confessed their dastardly deed. Again, under the cover of darkness, the thieves returned this time to right their great wrong. Phil's faith in human nature was restored. Besides that, he had a new friend.

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