Taylors snowman blankets yard with flurry of ingenuity

Posted Thursday, January 8, 2004 - 8:27 pm

By John Boyanoski

David Ceremuga plays Thursday with his daughter Lauren, 6, in snow that he made on his front lawn. Ceremuga uses a snowblower that he made to make his own snow when the temperatures drop. Staff/Bart Boatwright

While many Greenville residents went to bed wondering whether there would awaken to a yucky mess of freezing rain, sleet and snow, a Taylors family knows they will have snow in their yard.

That's because snow maker David Ceremuga mixed up a batch earlier this week using a homemade system that combines high pressure air and water. It's the second year the Ohio native has experimented with making snow.

"If mother nature won't do it, I will," he joked.

Much of the Upstate went to bed Thursday facing a 40 percent change of freezing rain and snow with temperatures dropping to the lower 30s, according to the National Weather Service. It was expected to turn to sleet after midnight.

State transportation department officials said Greenville County crews will pretreat major roads. Crews will sand them if freezing precipitation starts.

Not that it would bother Ceremuga. He grew up outside of Akron, which meant more frequent burrowing through snow drifts, and skiing. Moving to South Carolina meant losing that.

"I like the cold and snow," he said while wearing a short-sleeve shirt Thursday. "It's what winter is about."

Hidden behind a row of 20-foot-high pine trees, Ceremuga's snow covered-yards jumps out at anyone driving down the street. His daughter Lauren, 6, climbed through the three foot snow pile wearing pink snow boots.

She kept taunting her dad to get into a snowball fight. For her, the snow is probably the best toy out there.

Her 10-month-old sister Anna, though, was less impressed. She giggled as her mom, Sheila, held her. But she cried if brought too close to the snow covering most of the front lawn.

Ceremuga's started experimenting with snow making last year, but it came out as ice much of the time. He went back to the drawing board and came back with the system that has covered his yard.

Blue and green hoses run along the side of the house from a generator in a shed behind his house to a 10-foot tall set of PVC pipes. He uses a small yellow pressure washer to provide the water.

The water shoots from two nozzles and the air from another, forming the layer of snow that Lauren played in Thursday.

It can cover his yard six inches deep in an hour using 1.3 gallons a minute, he said.

"I don't want to see my water bill this month," he said.

A computer administrator at Greenville Technical College, the snow making is just a hobby he said. He's not going to patent or try to sell the snowmaking system. It costs less than $50 to make.

"If I can go out there and see the kids laughing, I'm fine," he said as his daughter tossed another snowball at him.