Growing up, my family shared a ski condo with the Stephens Family. One night after a snowstorm on Attitash, my dad (Tom) and Jerry were sitting on the couches, debating which run of the day was the best. I settled in next to my mom on the couch, as both families cozied up for some fun. The snow-cats began to tread up the hill, ready to groom the slopes for the next day. My snowman stood guard by the door, smiling out at the groomers.
Jerry was mid-sentence when my dad stood up and bolted out the door.
“Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he shouted as he ran out the door. A shadowy figure, covered in snow leapt up and headed down the slope at full speed. My dad, in nothing but socks, sprinted across the snow.
Still not sure of what was going on, Jerry jumped into action. Seeing my dad descending down the slope through the dark and chasing a dark figure dressed in black, Jerry grabbed a sled by the door and slammed it down the slope. Seeing that Jerry was was gaining speed, the vandal escaped into the woods. My father and Jerry shouted for the boy to face the music, but the trouble-making teen remained hidden in the woods.
My beautifully crafted snowman lay in ruin by the door; the neighborhood bully had destroyed it.
I spent endless hours of winter throughout my childhood crafting snowmen. Andrew Stephens was the youngest of the group (my junior by 10 years) but his endless energy and boisterous spirit made him an excellent snowman architect. On mornings following a snow storm, our parents would take us out early for some fresh tracks. Once the trails were bumped up, I would head back to out condo for some hot cocoa and some dedicated snowman construction with my favorite assistant.
That afternoon, Andrew and I had molded the snow into a perfect snowman. Our mothers had dug through the cabinets to find us some perfect facial features, and this particular snowman was an impressive creation. He was huge; around 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, with a carefully painted smile, eyes and nose. He was a masterpiece.
And then some jerk destroyed him.
Our fathers’ efforts at trapping him that night had failed, but their actions seemed James Bond like in our minds. To this day, our families will sit near the cozy fire in our living room and debate the best run. Inevitably, someone will bring up the day that Tom and Jerry became James Bond, and I am happy to admit that our dads acted as our heroes.