Grandfather makes granddaughter's snow wish come true

GLEN BURNIE, Md. -- All month long, all along the New England coast, folks snowed in to their Audis have been crying uncle to this Antarctica. But a few hundred miles south of here - outside Baltimore - one young lady has a whole different lament - that almost none of that snow has fallen here.

snow-20150130080112.jpg
Sophia White NICOLE QUEEN

For nearly half her life, 4-year-old Sophia White has been obsessing over snow. Ever since she memorized the movie "Frozen," she's been dreaming of a blizzard to call her own. And although so far that hasn't been in the clouds for her, her fortunes did start to change a few weeks ago when her mom Nicole called-up her grandfather in Rhode Island.

"I said I wish I could just teleport her up to you so she could at least just build a snowman," said Nicole. "That's all she's been wanting to do is build a snowman."

"So the more I thought about it, it's like, you know what - I could do it," said Sophia's grandfather Allen Queen.

hartmansnowman-copy-02frame2046.jpg
Allen Queen's pick-up truck is filled with snow ahead of his drive to his granddaughter's home CBS News

Queen is the parts manager at a Harley Davidson dealership in Pawtucket. His idea? Not to bring Sophia to the snow - but to bring the snow to Sophia.

So far this season Allen has twice driven a bed full of snow from Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Glen Burnie, Maryland - more than 750 miles round-trip - just to surprise his granddaughter.

hartmansnowman-copy-02frame3373.jpg
Sophia makes snow angels in the snow her grandfather brought her CBS News

"At first she didn't get it," said Queen. "She didn't really know what it was - but then when she shoveled some out and she saw it and started playing with it - then it hit her."

Cold has never been so warmly received which is why Allen plans to make this a tradition.

"It's good to make kids happy," said Queen.

When I pointed out that he was basically spoiling his granddaughter he told me: "That's what grandparents do. It's in the contract."

hartmansnowman-copy-02frame3652.jpg
Sophia White hugs her snowman
CBS News

And that obligation to indulge is a big reason most grandparents do what they do for their little angels. But more importantly, sometimes you have to follow the lead of a little kid to rediscover the joy you've been missing all around you.

"Has she made you appreciate the snow you have more now?" I asked.

At first Queen didn't respond.

"I'll take that as a 'no,'" I said.

"Hey, we've got a lot of it up here," he answered.

So much for my sappy ending.

To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, e-mail us.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.