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Where in the Hudson Valleyâ€¦?
By Polly Sparling
Even here in chilly upstate New York, it’s not often that you stumble upon a snowman in May. But no matter what the season, drivers in the northern mid-Hudson area routinely catch a glimpse of this 21-foot-tall structure every time they travel along one of the major “nine” routes. (Is it Route 9, 9G, or 9W? Sorry — no more clues.)
The spherical statue overlooks the front lawn of its owner and creator, Michael W. Evans. A welder and pipe fitter by trade, we reached Evans by phone in St. Louis — where he is working at a local oil refinery — to ask a few questions. What’s the snowman made of?
“All found scrap metals, which I pick up in my line of work,” he says. How long did it take to build? “About three months, just prior to Christmas 2004.” And how did you go about it? “All the plates are 12 x 12 [inches], and they’re welded together at every touching point. The bottom sphere is eight feet in diameter, and the other two are proportionately smaller. There is a steel support inside, but no ground attachment. It was intentionally constructed with the cracks; inside there are mercury vapor lights, which we sometimes turn on in the evening. It gives the piece a whole different dimension.” And who (or what) is hanging from the snowman’s head? “That’s Spider-Man!”
Eagle-eyed passersby will notice that there are other fabricated creations in Evans’ yard, including a pipe figure wearing a welder’s helmet (a self-portrait, he explains). Is his work for sale? “I sell everything I can,” says the sculptor, “but I’m not a salesman.” And what’s his artistic inspiration? “I do it because I enjoy pleasing people, and having them smile. Almost every weekend, someone pulls in the driveway to ask about it.”
So where in the Hudson Valley is this mammoth metallic man? If you know, E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first person with the correct location (route number and town) wins a prize. Good luck!