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Snowman in South Texas? Only if you get creative

By Melissa Crowe
Dec. 11, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.
Updated Dec. 12, 2013 at 6:12 a.m.

Roy McLaurin looks at his newest creation, a snowman built upon cryogenic technology, or the production of very low temperature using a standard window air conditioning unit, copper tubing and Freon.

The chances of finding a snowman in South Texas this time of year are slim.

However, Roy McLaurin, who lives just off York Road south of Victoria, is making sure, no matter the temperature, Frosty is coming to town.

McLaurin, 59, has a background in refrigeration and a passion for tinkering, which make for some great building blocks to create a Freon snowman.

"It doesn't snow here, so you might as well make your own," McLaurin said.

Last month, he constructed his second annual snowman of Freon and quarter-inch copper tubing.

Frosty stands about 3 feet tall and, at its coldest, was 17 degrees below zero.

It runs off 3.5 amps, about what you would find in three light bulbs, he said.

With about 8 ounces of Freon, an air conditioning window unit pulled from a scrap pile at Miller Appliance and a Styrofoam head from Hobby Lobby, McLaurin said this is a one-of-a-kind, truly original project.

In total, he spent about $40, a price he said is well worth it.

Bruce Miller, owner of Miller Appliance, said when he heard about McLaurin's idea, he wanted to make one as well.

"He's kind of an artist, and I am, too," Miller said.

While Miller specializes in cedar reindeer, he wanted to donate to McLaurin's Christmas masterpiece.

"It might inspire somebody else to do something for Christmas just for the fun of it," he said.

Frosty is complete with a corncob pipe and a carrot nose, which McLaurin admits he has to change out every few days.

"My friends love it," he said. "My wife loves it, too."

Until McLaurin unplugs Frosty and lets him melt - like all snowmen eventually do - it will continue growing.

"All you do is wait and watch it grow," McLaurin said.

It doesn't sound as if he will wait till next winter to start the third-generation Frosty.

"In July, you could still do it," he said. "Heck yea!"



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