Thursday, November 04, 2010

Yard Art Thursday -- the memorial

There is a house in my hometown that sits on a major street just across from the Catholic High School. The house is a long low ranch with the entrance to the garage opening on the end which makes the house seem even longer. It is a brick house and the landscaping is limited to a few small shrubs that are almost invisible from the street. Therefore it has a long, bland and very forlorn look the year round. It is obvious to all who pass the house that the front door is never used because the stoop stands too high and the steps were never added. The only item in the front of the house is a large lighted flagpole with what appears to be a memorial below it.

I passed this house several times every day for years because it was the only way to get to the house where we lived. I always wondered about the house and those who lived there. What sorrow caused the memorial and kept them from caring about the curb appeal of their home.

My vision would not allow me to make out the details of the memorial from my passing car so I decided to stop one cold day last winter and get a closer look. I pulled into the drive and parked. I walked the long length of the house and climbed up on the tall porch and rang the bell several times and no one came to the door to give me permission to photograph the statute and the plaque that was buried in the ground beside it. So I did it anyway.

The following photo is the one I took that day. A lone firefighter covered in bird droppings standing guard over the forlorn looking house.

I had planned to use this picture in a yard art blog and never did. Then we moved to a new neighborhood and I forgot about it. Last week I was driving through the old neighborhood and noticed there were some colorful blooms surrounding the flag pole. I stopped to to get a better look and realized the yard had been landscaped since the last time I had passed that way. Not only were there still flowers blooming in October but new shrubs were in graveled beds along the house. I even noticed a new statue off in the corner of the yard. So camera in hand I marched back up to the door to find the front steps had finally been added to the porch. But, no one answered. So I snapped the following two photos as I left.

A couple of days later I was visiting with a friend, and happened to mention the change in the house, that sits just around the corner from her parents. She filled me in on the story of the family who lives there. I learned the man who lives there now is the Fire Chief of our volunteer fire department. The home was, until recently, owned by his parents. His father was also the Fire Chief at one time and the statue was his memorial to those who had fallen in the line of duty. However, the plaque I remember photographing was no longer there and my photo seems to have gone missing as well. So perhaps, I just thought there was once a plaque there.

I am linking this post to Yard Art on Thursday.

Mary T. at the Work of the Poet hosts Yard Art Thursday. To join the fun or just check out the yard art discovered by others visit Mary and her friends at Work of the Poet.

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