The late January night was especially cold. You know, the kind of cold that captures moisture in your breath and turns it into crystals of frost suspended in the air. The cold of the night pulls at the slowly rising smoke from the fires needed to warm cold hands and feet. The drifting smoke seems to hover just above the snow covered ground. A thin blue mist creates a blanket between the twinkling stars and the clear ice. Unseen, but everywhere, the aroma of wood burning seams to surround all those present that night. And, there was something else in the cold night air… the sounds of laughter and family’s having fun.

A few days before a quick winter thaw caused a rise in nearby Fishing Creek. Then cold air from the north swept in and prevented the creek topping its banks and flooding the land. But, that same cold could not stop water rising up through the sandy soil flooding Harlan Park’s low lands.  Then that same artic cold freezes the water creating a winter wonder land for skating.

In those years when the rising water and cold meet at just the right time of winter, the water freezes and creates a winter park. A place that is just perfect for ice skating. When this happens “Mr. Danny” appears magically, much like Jack Frost. Jack does his part as he touches the water and turns it into ice.  And “Mr. Danny” does his part and brings the joy of skating for dozens of children and their families.

He asks nothing in return except a smile. His special magic has for several years supplied skates, hot chocolate and a fire for the kids to warm themselves in this place of winter fun. Perhaps “Mr. Danny” remembers from his childhood the joy of skating and being with his friends.  Whatever his motivation he helps to deliver a fun time for all those who brave the cold January evening.

Something else is frozen that January night, Memories. “Mr. Danny” supplied the greatest of gifts, a time and place for families to enjoy being together. Mother Nature often offers her gifts, the trick is, taking the time to look for them in the world around us.

In a time of electronic games and high tech devises, perhaps this simple winter activity will long be remembered in these children’s futures. Who knows, when another January night may turn cold and freeze a winter wonderland under the starry sky?  Until that happens, artist E. Stanley Yost painting will preserve that moment in 2016 when winter magic came to the bottoms. A night not so long ago when families enjoyed a winter wonder land and all it cost was a smile for “Mr. Danny.” 

“Mr. Danny”
18"X24" - Prints $60 - Framed and matted $200
Limited edition of 125 prints. Signed and numbered.
Releaded Nov 1st 2016

 

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