Mother Nature isn’t the only who enjoys putting on a show of color each autumn. As the weather cools and falling leaves turn eventually to falling snow, Fred Bowes heads to his front yard to create seasonal displays that continue from autumn through Christmas.
“I enjoy making it look nice for each different season,” says Bowes.
For visitors coming in to Boone from the north side, Bowes’ home at 2022 Story St. puts a welcoming touch on their arrival.
In the spring and summer, pristine landscaping surrounds a hand-built Iwo Jima memorial engraved with the words, “Uncommon Valor was Common Virtue.” A Marine Corps veteran himself, Bowes takes pride in honoring all those who served.
As autumn arrives, Bowes kicks into high decorating gear, adding a family of scarecrows, hay bales, pumpkins and a large shock of corn bundled in front of the home. The corn shock is especially tall this year, thanks to a little help from his friends.
“A friend I have coffee with gave me a different hybrid; it grows 12 to 13 feet tall,” he explains.
The current display will be up through Thanksgiving, when Bowes says the real show begins.
“If you want to really see something, the good stuff is Christmas — it’s quite a display,” he says.
Bowes is already busy planning. His wife, Ruth, leaves the work to him. This year’s display will include a scroll with the announcement of the birth of Jesus. There will be a display showing Mary and Joseph on the way to Bethlehem, as well as a manger scene, shepherds, angels and stable animals.
To make it even better, Bowes broadcasts Christmas carols on his own FM band radio that can be picked up within about a two-block radius of his home. Spotlights move from scene to scene as the radio plays different songs for each part of the Christmas story. The show takes about an hour, and for many local residents it’s become a tradition to park in front of the home and take in the sounds and scenes of the season.
For Bowes, it’s just his way of sharing his joy of season with those around him.
“I’m proud of my place, and I like to take care of it,” he says.