|Mike's Snow Village Closed for the Season
by Mike Bailey
Mike's Snow Village Closed for the Season:
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As I circled the airport down below me in my bright yellow bi-plane, I knew that this would be my
last trip up in the air above my Snow Village this holiday season.
I hated this day –- it always made me sad. After landing and then taxing over to the Snow Village
Airport hanger, I saw Alfred sitting in his bright yellow SV Cab waiting to take me into town for
one final look around. As far as I knew, Alfred was the only taxi driver who was also a city mayor.
Yes, the honorable Mayor of Snow Village also drove the town’s only taxi cab!
As we drove past the Starlight Drive-In Movie Theater and then the dairy barn area in the country
side, I realized that by this time tomorrow all this would be gone. We zoomed on towards town and
just before we reached the Coca Cola Plant, I saw Doc Martin coming out of his house and headed
somewhere in a hurry. I knew that he would look after everyone when they left and this helped ease
the pain of seeing everyone leave town for the next 11 months.
We stopped at the SV Fire Station and Chief Wilson assured me that all was going well and that all
the utilities (gas, water, and electricity) was being shut off in accordance with the Town Closure
Plan and that all would be done by 5 PM today.
Next, I drove on past the SV High School and saw all the classes were being let out early which
made for a mad dash to the parking lot and everyone trying to drive home for the last time. We
waved at the folks at the Bowling Alley and Record Store and then we stopped at Bill’s Service
station for one last fill up before the pumps were turned off. The folks in the SV Radio Station
were signing off the air and packing up all their records and CDs.
Back on Main Street, we headed for the center of town. I waved and said goodbye to so many SV
folks. Each goodbye brought tears to my eyes -- it would be almost a full year before I got to see
all these fine people once again.
We turned at the Court House and headed towards Beacon Hill. We had to wait at the railroad
crossing for the SV Santa Trolley Car to pass by on its way on down to the SV Train Station.
Alfred and I both waved and smiled at all the folks waving at us as they clanged by us and then
disappeared in the distance. The ride up the steep road to Beacon Hill was slow because we had to
watch out for all the kids and adults taking one last sled or ski trip down the hill.
At the top, we stopped at the Wedding Chapel and talked with Reverend Tiller who had just
completed his last wedding for the season and had sent the happy couple on their way for their
extended honeymoon. We stood around and talked with all the folks who lived up here and even the
guest from Judith’s Bed and Breakfast Inn came over to tell us goodbye.
With one last wave, we headed back down the hill towards town. After we reached the Court House,
we turned right and headed through downtown towards the SV Train Station. The street was
bustling with shoppers and cars -- everyone trying to get in their last minute shopping before they
closed all the stores. They were lined up 10 deep at Dinah’s Grill and the Ice Cream Parlor was
swamped – everyone trying to load up on goodies before these two beloved havens of junk food
closed their doors for the season.
I stopped off at the SV Police Station and spoke with Chief O’Farrell. We talked about how great
the season had gone and except for the one car wreck at the construction site on Main Street and
the kids setting fireworks off behind the High School, it had been a peaceful and safe season.
After thanking him and his fellow officers for a job well done, we said our goodbyes and drove on
down the street.
At the train station, I watched all the folks at the SV Bus station across the street loading up for
their final trip of the season. The train station was alive with loud speaker announcements for
trains departing town and people scurrying all about in a mad dash to catch their train. I saw the
Santa Trolley loading up for its final return trip to the SV Airport so I said my goodbyes to the
Mayor and hopped onboard just as she pulled out of the station.
The ride to the Airport was joyful and sad at the same time. I saw all the beautiful buildings,
houses, and churches being all shuttered up and closed for the season. Gone now were the sounds of
car horns, traffic, laughing kids, horse and tractor drawn sleigh rides, and all the people laughing
and giggling on the “Tacky Light” Tour bus. The flags at the Court House and Fire Station we were
now down and folded away for the long closed season.
Upon reaching the Airport, I took one final look around and then climbed up into my vintage yellow
biplane. After revving up the engine to warm her up, I bumped the throttle and headed out to the
runway. I worked my pedals and stick and saw and felt all was well with my rudder and ailerons.
With the throttle now jammed to the stops, we sped down the runway and within seconds were free
of the ground and zooming up and over Snow Village.
Banking the ole girl in a hard left turn, I made one final pass over the Airport and then over town
before I too headed away. The scene below was so different from what I had seen earlier just
before I had landed. All of the beautiful trees and buildings were gone as were all the wonderful
people and animals. Only the barren white ground, the railroad track, and the runway were visible.
Soon, they too would be gone....
As I raced away, the wind against my face felt good –- it helped clear away the tears of joy and
sadness but at the same time reminded me that it wouldn’t be too long before I was to come back …
back to my home at Snow Village.