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|12-28-02: Neighbors try to outdo each other with snow
|Whose is the best snowman?
By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
Here's the big question - whose snowman is the biggest, fattest,
smartest, cutest, in short the best doggone snowman in Mercer County?
While it seems a straightforward competition, isn't there always
someone who nitpicks and carps until the local newspaper is drawn into it and then
everybody can hardly wait to tell their side of the story?
Apparently, Celina native Dan McKirnan started the whole darned mess
when he brought Christmas gifts (snowman-making kits) with him this year from California
for longtime McKirnan family friends - the Olive Miller family, east of Celina, and the
Robert Schelich family, west of Celina.
The McKirnans, the Schelichs and the Millers have celebrated holidays
together since the family patriarchs (Pat McKirnan, the late Karl Schelich and the late
Kenneth Miller) were pranksters-three in high school back in the late 1930s.
Now 70 years later, the three families are still at it.
Dashing Dan McKirnan brought the kits (hats, noses, buttons and dyes to
color the snow) as Christmas presents for all three families and issued the challenge to
create the best snowman. All gifts were received a few days before Christmas at the annual
gathering of the three families.
The Millers set about making their snowman riding a fish following
Christmas dinner on the 25th and, fearing the weather could warm up, invited the others
over to see their creation.
The McKirnans turned out en masse to see the Millers' snow sculpture
and admired it greatly, according to patriarch Pat McKirnan.
"Admire, ha! They snooped around and whispered among themselves. I
think they may have been making little drawings. Then they raced off home to get started
on their own snowman," joked firebrand Gwen (Miller) Ley, waving her coffee cup as
she escorted the newspaper photographer around her mother's home to the snowman site.
"Oh, now, now. Gwen, as usual, is exaggerating," Dan McKirnan
told the newspaper. "We did investigate their work at their invitation and may have
casually mentioned building our own snowman as we drove home from the Millers that
Standing nearby, Pat McKirnan piped, "The whole reason we gave any
of them a kit at all was to help them get started in the right direction. There's no
telling what odd thing they would have come with on their own."
About seven McKirnans began the family's duck hunter snowman in a snow
boat with snow ducks and a dog on Dec. 26.
"You might just write down the Millers had at least 10 people
working on their snowfish and who knows how many more were lurking around the house,"
the patriarch interjected in somewhat of a huff.
Speaking of huffs, Bob Schelich told the newspaper via telephone Friday
afternoon he is lodging an official complaint against both the McKirnans and the Millers.
"I think they all joined forces against us. We had no idea that a
competition was taking place until about three hours ago. They all know that we've been
under the weather and couldn't get outside. Naturally they'd take advantage of that.
"Of course, I don't wonder that I wasn't told because we would
easily have won and it's pretty apparent they understand that too," Big Bob Schelich
groused over the phone.
Big Bob hasn't seen either snowman and said he doesn't want to,
although he thinks there may be other competitions ahead.
"Oh, it won't be anything any of them can win. This current thing
is about as much as the McKirnans and the Millers can handle. But, why not? They've all
had their heads in the snow for years!" Schelich exclaimed.
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The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH