Once upon a time there was a beloved 24-foot snowman named Archie who greeted children at a local mall from the late 1960’s until 2003. They would walk up to the snowman, speak into a microphone, and he would talk to them about Christmas. His eyes would light up and his voice would project from a secret booth with a one-way mirror.
But alas, as in any great story, tragedy struck. The mall got sold to different owner and the snowman deteriorated and someone threw him away. Ouch.
But in 2011, two wonderful men began a Facebook page to Save Archie. They got thousands of hits on Facebook, people with fond memories remembering the impact that Archie had on them when they were kids.
The community rallied, and Archie was resurrected with lots of love. He was rebuilt, better and stronger than before, but a little less taller (he stands at 15 feet now, and his girth is a bit wider, for true snowman appeal–and middle age, maybe?)
I visited Archie with my 20 year old daughter the other day. We made a special trip, in fact. We listened to him talk to a 4 year old about the truck he wanted and heard Archie tell him to be good. Then my beautiful daughter walks up with her Starbucks in hand and Archie says, “Well, hellloooo there! And what do you want for Christmas?” (It was a different tone than what he used for the 4 year old, that’s for sure 🙂 He had us both laughing. We took pictures and relived fond memories. It was joyous!
It was so great to see Archie back in his rightful place. Of the two men who began the campaign for Archie, one has since died. He was a younger man, in his mid-thirties. I can’t tell from Google what he died from. This saddens me greatly. But it also makes me awestruck. Imagine the change that came from their effort that started so simply and grew into something extraordinary. The impact from what those men started was profound. By spearheading the effort to bring this community institution back, they spread love and joy.
I wish you all a joyous holiday with your families. Reliving fond memories and creating new ones. Getting over the stress and seeing the holiday for what it really is–an opportunity to spend time with those we love.