We used our mother’s false teeth for the snowman’s mouth
Family Fortunes: Snow in 1956 and one of Borris-in-Ossory’s best dressed men
“What will we do for the mouth”? “Our Mother’s false teeth, let’s get them”!
When the snow came thick and fast before Christmas it piled into little heaps in the front garden of our house in Borris-in-Ossory. The year was 1956 and I was aged six years of age. I announced to my sister Teresa, “let’s get the shovels from the shed and we will make a big snowman”. This was great fun building the snow man to a height so that we could show off to our mother and neighbours.
When the layers of snow had packed to a manageable height we decided to dress and decorate him in the fashion we thought best. We opened our father’s wardrobe and got a jacket, cap and scarf.
My mother kept a lovely wooden button box with collections of coloured buttons from two generations before and so we had the best of pickings. We choose six brass shinny buttons from the uniform of a grand uncle who served in the First World War.
We used stones and sticks to create eyes and a nose. “What will we do for the mouth”? Teresa questioned. I was inspired: “Our Mother’s false teeth, let’s get them”! The next morning when she had gone to milk the cows on the farm she forgot her false teeth and so we placed them in the snowman and shaped holly berries around the teeth to form the mouth. The postman remarked “what a lovely dressed snowman! I have no letters for you today.”
The next day my mother was searching for her teeth. She was under the impression she placed them somewhere safe and she kept praying to Saint Anthony. The snowflakes came pouring down and it was hard to see or make out the shape of our white friend.
To make things worse a crow descended upon Mr Snowman and flew away with something in his mouth. How fearful we became in case he had taken away our mother’s false teeth. On the radio a song was playing, All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth as my mother was still praying.
On Christmas Eve the snow melted down and our mother noticed we were out at Mr Snowman who was now no more but upon searching and scraping on the ground St. Anthony’s prayers were answered and the teeth appeared. What a relief for us all at the time.