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Krazy Downhill Derby features wacky sleds, prompts memories

Entrants in the annual Krazy Downhill Derby held Feb. 22, Annine Everson and her children Addye and River of Albany ride down Dynamite Hill ski slope on the back of their homemade sled they crafted to resemble cartoon character ‘Woodstock,’ a Mario Brother.
Photo by  Brandon Himoff

Entrants in the annual Krazy Downhill Derby held Feb. 22, Annine Everson and her children Addye and River of Albany ride down Dynamite Hill ski slope on the back of their homemade sled they crafted to resemble cartoon character ‘Woodstock,’ a Mario Brother. Photo by Brandon Himoff

— An oblong, metallic-hued craft with a periscope and a tail-fin meandered down Dynamite Hill ski slope Saturday mid-day and halted.

A hatch door opened at out crawled Paul Matson, an employee of Garnet Signs, his young son Mace, and Ed Orr, owner of the Johnsburg enterprise.

“This is unquestionably high-tech,” Orr said, demonstrating its working periscope made out of cardboard tubing and two make-up mirrors.

“You might say it’s like 20,000 leagues under the snow,” Matson quipped about the submarine replica, complete with mock rivets, that slid on steerable skis down the hill as a contestant in Chestertown’s annual Krazy Downhill Derby sled race. In prior years, Orr and Matson have built a locomotive and caboose, and another year an Edsel auto wannabe titled “The Sledsel” — and they’ve driven them down the slope.

They pushed their submarine craft out of the way as another creation headed downhill — an antique sled replica, piloted by three local Boy Scouts, that looked as if it was ready to be hauled across Alaska by sled dogs.

One of the scouts, Andy Harpp, tumbled off the sled they named “Old Betsy,” and the other two, Justin Harpp and Jacob Smit responded with wisecracks as they continued downhill, coming to a halt as they, too, ended up in the snow, laughing.

Not far behind, another curious creation meandered downhill. It was a sled handcrafted to resemble the Mario Brother “Woodstock,” spread-eagled with his arms flailing in the air. Riding on Woodstock’s back down the slope were youngsters Addye and River Everson, along with their mother Annine Everson of Albany. She and her children had made the character sled out of hundreds of compacted plastic shopping bags, duct tape and wire hangers. A long-time annual contestant in the bizarre race, Everson has in prior years handcrafted a purple unicorn, a mermaid, a fire-breathing winged dragon, and a portly penguin for the sled race. Without a doubt, her experience as a paper mache artist has been useful in her endeavors.

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