The Snow Dragon Tradition Continues

We lined up the Snow Dragon parts on the tables at the Elk Lodge at the tail-end of Saturday's pool tournament, but the players didn't seem to mind the distraction. As her husband Joe was climbing into the giant foam head, Holly Jo asked how long we have been doing this. Annette, who keeps the dragon skeleton (nine half-barrels) and other parts in her attic said, "21 years."  Then I lifted the 30 lb. fire extinguisher up, and put the strap over my neck, and Sam clamped the hoses together so that when I squeeze the trigger the flour "smoke" will puff out of the dragon's nose, and I stepped under my fabric-skin draped half-barrel behind Joe and found the hole for my head and Annette tied on my dragon fin shaped hat. She told Joe, "Remember, be the dragon, and your job is to frighten the children."  Before I could think about that,  we went out into the night with the fire trucks, Santa, the Zumba ladies dancing, the Salvation Army four-wheeler blaring traditional carols, and Dave's snow globe decorated truck, the newspaper staff carried a banner too, and I'm not sure what else, as by then I was preoccupied with staying upright and dancing behind Joe and the fireworks crew surrounding the dragon. We were trotting pretty quick, and zigging and zagging a lot more than we did last year.  A few weeks ago Annette called and said she might not do the dragon this year, and asked what I thought. I knew she had already decided not to organize the traditional Lighting of the Fort celebration, as it was just too much work for one person. Traditions just don't happen, people make them, so of course I said we had to parade with the dragon again, it is not Christmas in Haines without it, and that I would provide both moral and physical support. Which is no doubt why Annette called me. She knew I'd say yes. Well, all I can say is thank goodness she did. When we shuffled back to the Elks Lodge, sore and sweaty and laughing, there were big smiles all around, and everyone agreed it was the most inspired dragon, ever. (Until next Christmas, of course.) 






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