Jack Frost is alive and well and living in Chemainus.
The name is more commonly associated with something nipping at your nose in The Christmas Song, but the real Jack Frost is a jolly old soul in these parts with his own renown.
The original Jack Frost has ties to mythology in several cultures that aren’t exactly clear. But his main ability is to bring about winter, snow or frost so he’s always been a seasonal favourite.
The Chemainus version is a family man with great ties to the community and, yes, Jack Frost is his real name and he’s 73. Most people who’ve known him a long time don’t think much about the connection to his more famous namesake.
But, as you would expect, eyebrows have always been raised over his name by those who aren’t in the know.
“I enjoyed it,” Frost said. “I get ribbed about it all the time. But it didn’t bother me.”
A conversation would typically go like this after someone asks his name.
“I said it’s Jack Frost, what’s wrong with that?” he pointed out. “Everybody said ‘it’s freezing out here. Aren’t you cold?’ I said you’re talking to Jack Frost.”
Jack’s dad was also named Jack with middle initial N. compared to his R. and, believe it or not, his dad once drove a red and white truck for Arctic Ice Cream in Victoria. Arctic was eventually bought out by Dairyland.
Jack’s mom was named Joan and all his other siblings had the same J.F. initials – Judy, Jill and Jerry. That brought up another interesting pairing with one of his sisters.
“Of course, we got teased when we were younger, Jack and Jill,” said Jack. “When we were younger we got stuck together, having fun.”
And then there were some interesting times with friends Jerry Ferry and Robin Hood.
Frost related one time when the three of them were in a car together and got stopped by the police.
After asking for each of their names, the officer said ‘who’s driving the car?’ “I said I am, Jack Frost.”
‘That’s it. I had enough of you guys,’ was the response.
There were so many experiences pertaining to his name.
“I’d get questioned going over the border,” said Frost.
He’s been retired 20 years and has always carried a special place in his heart for Christmas.
Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, his persona would change and “I put my Santa Claus suit on and I walk up the road with it,” he chuckled.
Frost also played the part just last week for a visit to the Steeples assisted living facility to brighten the spirits of residents there.
“They were quite happy and it made them laugh and smile,” he said.
Frost has numerous Christmas lights, decorations and figurines around his yard on Victoria Road that people always enjoy seeing.
“I don’t have half of what I used to have,” he said.
Frost’s brother-in-law used to be a carpenter at the Parliament buildings and gave him thousands of old light strings that went a long way.
“They draw a lot of power,” Frost said.
“There’s some really good light shows around,” he observed.
That includes his own place, even though there’s been considerable downsizing, to keep the holidays aglow from a sometimes frosty exterior.