by Frank Lewis
On January 16, the Zolgus family — led by Ryan Zolgus, his brother, father and two sisters — started building a 13-foot snowman. A photographer arrived to take a picture and asked Zolgus if he planned to make it bigger. Zolgus decided to aim for 20 feet. By the time he finished, his creation stood 23 feet tall, in six segments, not including its flowerpot hat. Zolgus named it Susan, after the gigantic character from Monsters vs. Aliens.
“I wanted to prove myself, then go a little further,” says Zolgus, a musician who plays in So Be It.
Zolgus’ father runs a snowplow business, but the snowperson engineer says no machinery was used. “We made a lot of snowballs,” he explains. “You pile them up, you fill in around them, you pack them in. Then you get a ladder, then you get a bigger ladder.”
After two weeks of powdery snow and low temperatures, Saturday fell on a thaw day with perfect conditions. All over their three-and-a-half acre property, the family rolled snowballs up to three times the size of a basketball. Then they dragged them on sleds to the frontyard. They’re still sore.
Susan immediately became a roadside attraction. Cars stopped to look, and families have been taking pictures with her.
Zolgus already has a plan for next year’s snow creation. He has a diagram for a 30-foot-tall, traditional three-sphere snowperson. He hopes to attract the Guinness Book of World Records to document it as the world’s largest handmade snowman. — D.X. Ferris