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4 Days to Showtime

Published in Ralph Bolt's Blog
19 February 2014

2-20-14  Minus 24 Fahrenheit:

It was chilly coming out of the gym this morning.  It's in the student recreation center on the university campus up on the hill above town.  The sun was just rising as I left and shone like fire through the steam rising from the school's power plant.

Work has resumed on the chapel dome and significant progress has been made on the front wall.  Much remains ,though, as the dome must be finished and the archway in front has not yet been started.  We're all hopeful it will be back on track soon.

It's amazing how fast the skilled sculptors can work.  I believe just three of the Chinese crew have been working on the front entrance and in just two days have made a huge 15-foot high polar bear to guard the entrance and constructed some of the walls that will guide visitors into the ticket office.  And around back of our main building, Junichi and Junko are nearing completion of the big ice stage which will be used for the award ceremonies.  The first of those is just over a week away.

Three other Chinese sculptors are working on the ice house they started two days ago.  From the front it looks nearly complete while around back they were placing the last 200-pound "shingle".These guys are amazingly strong and seem not the slightest fazed by the deep sub-zero temperatures.

I don't know who built our ever-popular phone booth but it wasn't there yesterday and seems to have just sprung up today.  Alan Armbruster has an old pay phone sitting on my workbench in our shop.  We'll install it tomorrow.  It won't be wired up because we don't have keys to get into the mechanism but modern folks probably wouldn't know how to use a land-line pay phone anyway.  The calls home will all be made on chilly cell phones.

I'm off to our last pot-luck dinner at the ice park tonight.  We do one every two weeks to get the volunteers together and review plans and operations.  Afterward, I head out to North Pole where I'm going to do a live TV interview at one of the local stations.  That will be fun.

More later.
Ralph Bolt