It was a quiet day in Elbert County, the kind of day where the thick gel of winter oozed into the rolling plains like a personal injury lawyer to a car accident, creeping through towns all dolled up in their Christmas finery. Not the kind of day in …
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It was a quiet day in Elbert County, the kind of day where the thick gel of winter oozed into the rolling plains like a personal injury lawyer to a car accident, creeping through towns all dolled up in their Christmas finery. Not the kind of day in which surprises are expected.
When a stranger showed up at the sheriff’s department, I thought I’d swing over to Kiowa and see if I could lend a hand. When I arrived, I found him standing watch near the front door. I’d seen his kind before, handsome, but kind of wooden, the dapper silent type clad in a scarf and top hat, spreading his own kind of Christmas cheer.
A quick interrogation of the department’s administrative staff shed little light on the origins of the stranger. He’d just showed up one afternoon, they said, dropped off near the front door of the district court.
With nothing on the docket for a wayward, log snowman, the department escorted him to a location where they could keep a closer eye on him, and though he refused to talk, it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t alone. There had been additional snowman sightings across town and in Elizabeth.
As any pulp fiction writer will tell you, the stranger-comes-to-town plotline can make for a page-turning mystery, but my strangers were multiplying, and I’d never heard of the strangers-come-to-towns storyline, so I zipped over to the county courthouse to see what I could dig up.
By the time I arrived, the staff at the county offices had embraced the second stranger, inviting him inside and fitting him with a rad set of holiday glasses.
Had they fallen so readily for his holiday charm? They had not only invited the snowman to stay for Christmas, but also enlisted him to serve as a year-round holiday mascot. A mystifying turn of events, evoking smiles.
I gave the staff in the treasurer’s office the third degree until one of them finally gave up the goods on two youths they’d seen skulking around the courthouse stoop just before the second snowman appeared outside the building. When I wished them a merry Christmas, I could feel the snowman’s good nature affecting me, so I quickly warned them not to leave town.
With this new piece of information, I decided to seek assistance from Chief Hasler of the Elizabeth Police Department, who had launched his own investigation into the appearance of a third snowman at his department.
Hasler’s team of crack investigators had already scoured parking lot surveillance video to determine if the snowman had arrived by sleigh, snowmobile or taxi. The video managed to catch the snowmen’s shadowy co-conspirators in the act of delivery but managed to avoid the camera’s probing eye, allowing them to escape identification. They were seen fleeing the scene in a nondescript flatbed truck.
The trail went cold from there and the investigation stalled like an old Cadillac with a flooded carburetor. To this day, the snowman gang remains at large, and enjoy unprecedented public support.
One statement made in confidence by one county staffer summed up the thankful mood of the community surrounding these mysterious strangers.
“We love them; they’re awesome.”
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