Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gigantic Famous Snow People

What is the saying? "When life hands you lemons-make lemonade!". How true. The northeast has received tons of snow this year. I am originally from Maine and a majority of my family still lives there. My sister sent me the pictures of these gigantic snow people, and my mother sent the stats (in italics).

I know I have said this before but it is worth mentioning again, when I joined the Army, people would ask where I am from, I would always reply, "Maine." Many people would then ask, "Is that a state?" and "Where is it located?"

Maine is indeed a state. A very beautiful state. Maine and Tennessee have some similarities, including: famous folks, beautiful land and scenery, tourists, and a wide range of differing people. Maine and Tennessee also have some differences, including: the Home of Country Music, and lobsters. One state has it, the other doesn't.
Enough on the states....on to famous snow people with tons of snow!

"The world's tallest snowman is no man. The "snowwoman" towers over the village of Bethel, Maine. It is 122 feet tall. Bethel is a ski town of about 2400 residents and at the dedication of Olympia, Mark Bancroft, who donated the 150 foot crane to build it with, said when the going gets tough in the winter with lotsa snow and fuel costs, we in Bethel get tough and build a snowman! The crowd gave an applause that was muffled due to their gloves and mittens on their hands.

In 1999 Bethel build the then tallest snowman, named Angus after our then Independent Governor, Angus King who lives in Brunswick, Maine. Angus was certified as the worlds tallest snowman by the Guinness Book of Records. It is not
known if Olympia will get the new record or not since it is not a snowman but snowwoman, and there are not two categories. Residents are petitioning for Guinness to add a category for snowwoman. Since then Bethel has been waiting for someone to break the record. No one did in 9 years, so Bethel figured they would break their own record. There was plenty of snow for the project this year, unlike the year Angus was built and had to be started with man made snow. Parts of Maine have had over 100 inches of snow.

Olympia features eyelashes made from discarded skis (donated by Sunday River Ski Resort), bright red lips made from giant painted car tires, eyes made from giant wreaths, 27 foot tall evergreen trees for arms, an 8 foot carrot nose painted by the school children, a giant red hat, a 100 foot-long scarf, blond tresses made from
rope, a 6 foot long snowflake pendant.

Jim Sysko, a civil engineer oversaw the design and construction the the making of Olympia and said it took more than a month to build, dozens of volunteers and TONS of snow. It was built with a series of concentric circles and the 150 foot crane would dump snow into frames and volunteers would climb in for long hours of shoveling and packing the snow.

At the dedication on last Friday volunteer David Lynch said the best part was that everyone in town pitched in on it and made it happen. He also said it got pretty hairy at the top and he only went to 80 feet.

Iris Roberts from Jefferson City, MO said it is the whimsy of it all, and that makes it so great. She watched the dedication with her husband.

Darlene Ginsberg directed traffic with one hand while a cup of hot coffee was in her other hand and said that people love that we did something good with all this snow.

After the dedication Julia Reuter led the crowd in singing "Winter Wonderland".

Alex Kaufman from Sunday River credited Olympia for bringing the snowiest winter in 12 years and then took a jab at Angus by saying "Angus didn't bring squat for snow and in this case it took a woman to get the job done!"

Olympia could not attend the dedication because of her duties in Washington but a statement was read to the crowd from Olympia which in part was "I've joked that it's just my luck I'd have a world record-breaking monument named after me and it will be gone by summer".

To get an idea of the scale of Olympia, she is about 30 feet shorter than the Statue if Liberty (without the base)."

The first picture is of Angus, the second is this year's entry of the world's largest snowwoman, Olympia (after Olympia Snowe of Maine).

Tennessee also had a bit of its own snow this year. Wonders of wonders! Nina sent me the last two pictures. The birdhouses and trees behind the birdhouses look alot like Maine this year. Do you suppose the hawk that landed in her yard would like to use one of the birdhouses for shelter right about now?

in the garden....


  1. Tina,

    Do you miss Maine?

    I don't miss snow. I grew up in St. Louis, we had plenty of snow, not like Maine, but enough to satisfy a kid. AND I did walk to school in the snow!

    I always wanted a bit of snow for my son to play in and now he is in grad school in RI and tired of it.

    Fun post...


  2. dawn with peachesMarch 9, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    The woman is wider at the bottom than the man? But the snowman is balding. Ha! No, just kidding. Olympia is made to look like she has a dress on. I think.
    The bird in the snow is way cool!

  3. gail, yes, i miss maine, but would never live there again. it is a nice place to visit.

    st. louis is a nice city. i loved a visit i had there a few years ago. i would think the weather would be similar to here. do you miss it?

    dawn with peaches, i think she is made to look like she has a dress on too. also, since she is bigger, she would need more support than angus probably. quite a feat building these two guys.

    i love the picture of the hawk in nina's snow too. isn't that cool? wonder about the story.

  4. Dawn I figured Olympia was wider cause she was wearing a dress.

    Gail not everyone in Maine gets a lotta snow as it depends where you live. I live on the southern coast of Maine and we have only patches of snow on the ground.
    However my daughter, Dawn with Peaches lives in the mountains of western Maine where Olympia was built.

    People have this view of Maine that is not always true, some even think it is part of Canada. In the school year of 84-85 we had an exchange student from Spain living with us and we took him on a road trip to New York, Washington DC and on to Flordia. We had stopped in North Carolina and spent the night with a fried that was in the Navy Honor Guard with my husband. When the friends kids got home from school and was told who we were and where we were from her eyes got as big as saucers and she said "Goooollllly aint that way up by the polar bears??!! She was about 8 years old. We laughed so hard. A couple of years later they all came to Maine and that little girl just loved Maine and did not worry about the polar bears getting her at all.

  5. I am so glad you posted this Tina. With all the talk, I was dying to see them!

    Funny about the polar bears...

  6. Wow, those are absolutely amazing! Great post --and to think my kiddos thought we got some snow, lol. Everything seems to be melting nicely -a few parking lots had snow but the sun is out doing it's handiwork to our snowman and fort. They will soon be the water going into the lawn:0) Nice day today --probably a little too muddy to do anything but it's nice to see the sun shining.

  7. Great blog. Loved the pics. Made me home sick for Tn. That's what I remember in the winters.
    Where ever did the hawk come from? Why is it in the snow like that?

    I think it should be listed as "Snow people". That way the lady would be included for the record. It's hard to believe that they could be built so high. Of course the lady would be wider at the bottom because of her dress. I thought about Maine as being on the ocean with land jutting out into it. Rocky shores, some ancient pine trees here & there.

    I thought St. Louis was cool. Isn't that where they have the gambling ship? Missed going through the zoo, stayed with my sister-in-law as she couldn't walk much. We sat at entrance & let the grown kids go.

    Jean do you ever have a water problem, like rising waters?

    Sure would like to hear about that hawk!!!!!

  8. Hello to everyone. Tina a very interesting post. Like Skeeter I was anxious to see them. Very amazing! After the 12 inches of snow we had on the ground yesterday, I don't think I would enjoy it for a long period of time! It is melting off today. We have several trees with broken limbs.

    While I was out yesterday morning taking pictures I came upon the "design" in the snow. It was in our back yard by the bird feeder. My first thought was "oh! a snow angel". I have no idea what kind of bird made this. My husband suggested possibly a hawk. We do have them around here. It really is a mystery to us, but isn't it unique!!

  9. Lola actually Maine does have 3,500
    miles of coastline that is very jagged and rocky in a lot of places. We do also have nice sandy beaches. However that is only one side of Maine. The rest borders on New Hampshire and Canada. The nickname for Maine is "The Pine Tree State". Our State Tree is the Eastern White Pine Tree". Our State Flower is the "The White Pinecone and Tassel". Why? Because our state is FULL of pine trees. They are different than the ones down south. Ours are shorter (unless really old) and very round (some almost as round as tall). We have no problem with rising waters where I live but there are a couple of places that have a big problem with it and with erosion. Then there are a few places that are on lakes and rivers that sometimes will have trouble, mostly
    in the spring and mostly when there has been a lot of snow. There will be places this spring that will have flooding.

    Nina that is a very neat picture and I also sure would like to know the story. I hope it is not a dead bird covered with snow. If it is not I guess the story will be unknown to us. It sure is very interesting and unique!

  10. I forgot to say that it is good to hear you on here again Nina. You must have got your computer the way you wanted it. Good.

  11. Jean interesting you should mention a dead bird. I had that thought yesterday afternoon, so I put the ole boots on and went out and checked it out. This a.m. my daughter asked if I had checked,she had the same thought.
    No dead bird!

  12. dawn with peachesMarch 9, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    I must say....we felt well enough to take Nikki to see Olympia, she was bugging us all morning. She is not as wide as the newspaper pic shows her and she actully has layers like Angus. They were built in a underdeveloped mall parking lot and you have to get way back to photogragh her in her entirety. The rain got to her, one arm is loose, the scarf is ripped, fact the red spot on the pic is part of her scarf, and the snowflake charm is broken. Very bitter high winds today but that did not stop tour buses from arriving and going. She is impressive! The scope of her height can't be measured by the pics, you can see her from the major routes!
    I'd like to know 'bout the bird too. Do you surpose it was major confused by the snow? Maybe it saw a meal and scoped down as quick as it went up.

  13. just got back in town and what do i see? a bunch of damage. two plow trucks knocked over my mailbox-with mail in it! all evergreens are on the ground due to the heavy snow. dawn with peaches, i don't know how you do it. i guess i get spoiled down here with not much snow. then when it comes-boo hoo! i could do a post but i already righted the huge evergreen on the ground. i sure hope it recovers! it is a speciman arizona cypress. such a shame. sigh. i am hoping the little ones like nandina and euonymous recover no problem. yews too. all on the ground. the arborvitae held up well-surprising! and no damage to cedar trees though i did see some in town.

    anonymous-did you show the kiddos the snow people? how cool are they? my mother wrote up the description and i am glad she did, i never could've figured how anyone could build something that big out of snow!

    mom, great description of the maine coast. such a beautiful place. i was so lucky to grow up there on the ocean. great memories.

    lola, glad you liked the pics. they are very cool. i got the box of plants today. looks like ginger roots. i am looking forward to planting them. they were in my upturned mailbox, but should be ok. thanks!!!!!!!!!

    skeeter-how cool are those snowmen? strange place maine to make such big snow people-but the good part is how ALL the townspeople came out and participated and it shows their great pride in their home! clarksville is trying to get that way too. lots of changes coming according to the paper. hope your parents stayed safe here.

    dawn with peaches, so glad you guys are feeling better and that was an awesome picture you sent! i don't even think they do something like this in europe.

    nina, absolutely love the unique pic of the hawk. it really makes you think. how did you ever find it? it really is cool and ties in with the snow people and snow.

    maybe i should've saved these pics for this summer-when we are burning up from heat...warm here today-but still snow! ttyl

  14. we all forgot about the time change this morning. seems so strange it is still so light's to losing an hour of sleep for more light!

  15. dawn with peachesMarch 9, 2008 at 7:21 PM

    Did you shake down the shrubery like a perp in a bad cop show?

  16. ROFL at Dawn with peaches comment --I am sorry the plow trucks took out your mailbox and that your trees are down Tina:( I hope they recover with your assistance. The ground is so soft and moist now so I'm sure they will do good:) And, Jean you did do an excellent job on the descriptions of the snow people --I still have such a hard time fathoming such a MASSIVE snowman --really cool but I'd hate to see that thing fall over, kwim? This daylight stuff is awesome! A little harder to get the kids in bed but I love that extra time for outside stuff:) Have a great night y'all!

  17. My first thought was a dead bird. Glad it's not. A beautiful pic.

    Jean, your description of Maine is exactly what I had in my mind & I've never been there. The coast line I pic would be a painter's dream.

    Glad you guys felt better enough to go out & enjoy. Still can't imagine those snow people. Awesome.

    Glad you got the box Tina. Hope all was intact. Did send pic of Ginger plant. Hope the info I sent you on the other is correct. Enjoy. Sorry your trees were on the ground. It's so soft now it doesn't seem to want to hold some things up. They will be fine with your love & care.

    Boy, confusion, confusion with the ole bod about this time change. Even more so since it's early by 2 weeks this yr. Something else for the gov to mess with.

    BTW Jean, Great write up on snow people. You should consider writing a book. Maybe about Maine.

  18. Nina I think maybe Dawn with Peaches has figured the design in the snow out for us. That makes sense.

    Glad you guys are feeling better and my granddaughter got to go and see Olympia.

    Tina what is it with your front yard this year? Guess you need a concrete barrier. LOL Sorry and hope everything makes it okay. Our mailbox got knocked over by plow last year and Crooker's had to replace it. I never knew that but Terri-Lynn said it and she called them. Got a whole new mailbox and pole and they installed it. Not as big as the one we had but it is a nice new modern hard plastic one. Much better that the rusty and bent metal one we had. So look into that down there. They may have to fix it.

    Thanks Tina as I am not good with words like you are but Maine is pretty easy to describe. I am glad you have great memories of growing up here. It is the only place for me even if I do have 2 daughters that will never leave the south.

    When it gets hot Tina you can always rerun this post and title it "WHAT I WOULD'NT GIVE FOR A SNOWSTORM". LOL

    Anonymous the snowwoman will not fall as like Dawn said with Angus they will tie it off so it will melt properly and not fall.

    Dawn the other night when that house blew up in Bethel (was it Bethel or am I thinking of Olympia?), anyway it was near you. My first thought was "Oh no I hope it was not someone you guys service". Today on the news they been saying a piece of ice fell on the gas line and broke the line. Someday everthing will be underground. Only way to go.
    Glad to hear it was no ones fault but an act of mother nature.

  19. Thanks Lola. You are so sweet.

    There you go Tina....write a book about Maine and how you had your own boat as a kid and went lobstering, swimming under the longest cribstone bridge in the world, having the tide come in on you, ect.,ect.,ect. You could even talk about digging your own veggie garden by hand as a kid and pulling tomato plants outta the ground in the dark in a snowstorm!
    Remember all that. We hung those tomato plants upside down in the basement and had fresh tomatoes till Christmas.

  20. Good gravy Jean, did Tina do that as a kid? No wonder she is so knowledgeable about gardening. I agree, with all that in her head she should write a book. Fresh tomatoes at Christmas, now that takes the cake. I had some late Fall one yr but they were in buckets, dirt. My brother didn't want to hear about it. He loves his gardens. Roses are his thing. Would love to go see him & his gardens. But for me upper Ga. is a world away.

  21. Yup Lola she did. I had read somewhere if you pull tomatoes, roots and all and hang them up by the roots they will still grow. And grow they did. The cherry ones lasted longer than the big ones but we had a nice big, full and warm basement so figured we had nothing to lose but a little work so might as well give it a try. It worked like a charm!

  22. dawn with peaches, i tried shaking it all-too much and the shrubs are too floppy. i wind up digging them out instead. bad perp huh? you are too funny. we are overrun with big birds down here, i bet it did see a meal and scooped it up. dave at the home garden posted pics of rabbit tracks. maybe it caught a big rabbit, or better yet, a vole!

    anonymous, she is funny isn't she?

    lola, yup, you sent me a picture. i will plant the rhizomes out as soon as it is warm enough. i hope our season is long enough to grow the pinecones. sounds so neat and i will try it to wash my hair for sure!

    mom, i would LOVE concrete barrier around the house and garden. too much money. probably codes too. i am glad i am not the only one who gets a mailbox taken out by plows. i know it is common but still frustrating! don't like it when others damage my property as we work so hard for it! even a lowly mailbox. a couple of years ago we had solid ice on the roads. the temp was like 20 degrees for a few weeks. the plow came thru and tossed 10-20 pound ice chunks everywhere. then EVERYONE on the road lost their mailboxes. they could've been more careful this time as the road is not that narrow. sigh.

    you did a good job writing up the description. thought it was professional. it painted a picture and was a nice description.

    ttyl-gotta do taxes! yuck!

  23. Tina sorry about your mail box...
    You are sure having some issues from the road. First the car in the ditch and now the snow plow.....

  24. skeeter, that was my first thought too. d%$#)& road! but accidents happen. accidental being the operative word. i can deal with accidents, intentional is another thing entirely....don't you agree?