By Joe Wiercinski
Herald Staff Writer
Blame it on Grandma. Isn’t that usually the case when kids are involved and there’s mischievous fun to be had?
That’s how it was 22 years ago when there was a backyard Fourth of July snowball fight at the Wilsons’ house in Sharpsville. There was another snowball fight (of sorts) this year.
The grandmas and the kids have changed but you get the idea.
“My mother froze the snowballs in the winter and surprised us all,” Patti Wilson said of the late Mickey Pierce. “My parents always did things like that to surprise the grandkids.”
The children of that day now are twenty- and thirtysomethings, some with children of their own to toss snowballs scooped up in March. Patti and Mike Wilson stashed them in their freezer for a couple of reasons.
In addition to the new generation’s re-enactment of the Independence Day snowball fight of yore, this is the week to celebrate another grandma’s birthday.
Clara Wilson was born in August but the far flung grandchildren, great-grandchildren and others came home this week from Florida to celebrate her 80th birthday during a family picnic on Saturday at Stoneboro Lake.
That made July 4th a good choice to show off the snowball handling skills of Lyla Bshara, 3; and her cousins Evan Vidal, 3, Kaelyn Vidal, 4è, and Aubrey Wilson, 19 months.
“That’s cold,” Lyla exclaimed. “It’s like ‘ithe,’ ” she lisped while gripping the frozen ice ball that dripped steadily in the hot afternoon.
“Everybody grab a snowball,” Brian Wilson said, and then, to his toddler daughter, said, “throw it in the pool, Aubrey.”
The rookies listened and mostly cooperated as the boys and girls of that other summer long ago remembered running around with their cousins during the holiday party.
“Pretty much, we threw them up in the air and caught them because they were so hard,” Brian Wilson, 32, of Sanford, Fla., said. “We didn’t want to peg anybody.”
Emily Fontenot Vidal, of Oviedo, Fla., at 3 years old was the youngest cousin that day. She claims not to remember it but her family teased her about being known for her love of sled riding. Maybe the snowball fight is the reason she likes winter activities, somebody suggested.
The oldest cousin, Julie Wilson Bshara, claimed to have had the best throwing arm that day, drawing an objection quickly.
“She would say that,” said Matt Wilson, 26, her cousin, of Hermitage.
His brother Michael, 29, was spending the holiday in New Castle with his fiancés family and didn’t get to witness Thursday’s reenactment. Neither did cousin Melissa Hamilton, who lives in North Carolina.
But if they need to know what this generation’s snowball tossers thought of the summer silliness under the sultry sky, they could ask Kaelin.
“Yay,” she said. “This is fun!”