Olaf makes an appearance

Published 7:35 pm Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wow, you guys are great.

When I awoke to eight inches of snow in my yard on Thursday, I put out the word on Facebook that we were looking for photos of Suffolk folks out enjoying the day. And when my wife and I ventured out to clean off the truck so I could go take some of my own, I realized this was the perfect snow for playing in — and as one man told me, the perfect snow for snow cream, which, unfortunately I didn’t get to make.

Driving out of our North Suffolk neighborhood, I was disappointed that I didn’t see kids outside building snowmen or having snowball fights at 10 a.m. At first, I worried that times may have changed too much since I was a child and longed for the occasional snow day, when I’d spend so much time rolling around in the snow outside that I’d come in for lunch with my jeans frozen and crusted with ice. Maybe kids today spend their snow days playing X-Box, I told Annette.

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It didn’t take long, though, for us to find neighborhoods where children and adults were taking advantage of whatever hills they could find to go sledding. Fathers were shoveling driveways as their children scampered about, and my sense of snow-day balance was soon restored. But still, we marveled at the dearth of snowmen in front yards.

I needn’t have worried, as readers made clear throughout the day on Thursday and again on Friday and even Saturday.

Our calls for snow photos resulted in an overwhelming response. Nearly 70 photos were sent to our email address for inclusion in a Facebook gallery, and a large percentage of them depicted kids and adults showing off their creative takes on the snowman theme. Frosty would get his day after all, it seemed.

Or Olaf would.

Apparently there’s a popular Disney movie that has rebranded the prototypical snowman. I must be the only person in America who hasn’t seen “Frozen,” though my grandchildren have sung one of its songs to me enough that I probably needn’t worry about missing it. And, judging from my Facebook feed, Olaf the snowman is one of the most popular children’s characters of the 21st century. Boy am I ever out of touch.

We’ve used a few of our favorite reader-submitted photos in recent editions of the paper, and we appreciate all the participation. There were far too many to print them all, but we’ve got a plan to devote a few pages of the next edition of Suffolk Living magazine — due to hit the streets mid-month — to some of those we haven’t had a chance to publish.

One of the great things about a community newspaper is that it serves as a forum for people in the community, a place where they can share what makes that community special. I’m gratified that so many people in Suffolk take that opportunity, even if it means that Frosty now takes a backseat to Olaf.