There has been a lot of new construction recently on Mercer Island, including a “McMansion” across the street from outdoorsman and retired surgeon Dan Paull. But last week Paull had a better idea, inspired by 11-year-old neighbor Derek Loo. Paull described the genesis of the idea. When Loo saw Paull shoveling snow off his deck, Loo offered to help.
“I thought, ‘Hey, why should we be just be shoveling snow when we could have some fun?’” Paull said.
It was at that point that Paull remembered a gizmo that had been gathering dust in his basement for years.
“Want to build an igloo?” Paull asked Loo.
Without hesitating, Loo signed on to the project. They were soon joined by Loo’s 13 year-old sister Jayne, who arrived with her classy snow shovel.
The gizmo was an “igloo builder,” a metal frame into which packed snow could be fashioned, block by block, into any sized igloo. Soon a round snow wall slanting towards the center emerged.
Work was halted at dinner time, to be completed in the morning. But by the next day, overnight rain had pounded the project, causing the collapse of the carefully constructed walls and leading to the abandonment of the project.
“It’s unsavable,” Loo’s sister announced, standing amidst the sodden walls. But the team is undaunted.
“Now I know how to build an igloo,” Loo said. “Next time, we’ll finish it.”