Originally created 01/03/01

Snow fun turns to Yule nightmare

Preparing for the highly publicized "Snowman building contest" at the civic center, my granddaughter and I gathered the perfect paraphernalia. Taking a half-day off from work, my husband promised the muscle for our frosty creation. Speculating about the prizes, the 8-year-old had plans to win.

Dec. 22 at 2:30 p.m. we arrived to a patch of snow covered with children and adults frantically scrapping over materials for construction. Those who would not fit on the patch stood on the periphery hurling ice balls.

Disappointment turned to glee when the Lynx "Zambonie" came with more snow, rolling between parked cars and wandering people. Children bounced and frantic parents screamed in fear of having their offspring crushed by machine or tumbling snow.

We pounced on the snow, working diligently. Bombarded with skin-cutting and ear-filling ice balls, we finished our Southern lady snow woman. After taking a picture, we quickly retreated while masses of children kicked the southern lady to the ground.

The cameraman from Channel 12 left with footage after the second dumping of snow. An otherwise uninvolved watchman made a radio call to have the water turned off after children broke a water pipe and flooded the parking lot. A radio station bailed out before the last load of snow threatened the children.

Stopping by Channel 12, we were greeted by Tracy Sadeghian. Following a crack-in-the-door explanation, we were told we would hear from someone.

The news at 6 p.m. made us wonder as the smiling commentary addressed, "fun bringing snow to Augusta." They showed no snowmen, announced no contest winners. Did anyone wonder why?

The real report of this event should have read, "a total disaster, no supervision, children's eye injured; many minor injuries inflicted as frustrated bystanders threw ice balls, promoters did not follow through, parents angered, children disappointed."

That's the truth. I was there.

A. Pitka, North Augusta

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