Pharos-Tribune

Columns

April 25, 2013

ABBOTT: Trading one backyard eyesore for another

Why do I have a 250-pound concrete dinosaur in my yard?

The honest answer is because I can.

I’ve always liked the towering green Sinclair dinosaurs, and I was a big fan of Dino on “The Flintstones.”

The story begins with removal of the big Baggie in the back yard, otherwise known as an above-ground pool.

Around here, owning an above-ground pool puts you lower in the food chain than folks with in-ground pools. So one makes excuses, like:

• “It was here when we bought the house, and it was too expensive to take it down.”

• “The kids really wanted it.”

• “We’re too close to the river to dig that deep for an in-ground pool.”

We enjoyed our Doughboy for 12 years. When our son and his friends emptied the nest, the pool sat unused but still needed daily maintenance.

So we took it out, along with the deck that surrounded it. What remained was a giant pile of dirt. I wanted new landscaping in its place, but I kill everything I grow.

We put in a lilac bed, and I added a concrete bird bath and turtle. To my credit, I have yet to kill the lilac beds.

Around the perimeter of the house, we added edging and rocks, several tons of multi-colored rocks. Impossible to kill, and they look great (well for someone who likes “The Flintstones” and kills plants.)

Something was still missing.

We searched in vain all over the tri-state for a replica of the Sinclair dinosaur. Every little burg and ville has a concrete place, where you can buy anything in molded concrete, like a purple hippo or a giant chair shaped like a hand.

I found a pineapple for the front of the house, but no dinosaur.

Finally, a friend from New Albany told me about The Concrete Lady. Her central location is just off Interstate 65 north of Louisville. The Concrete Lady has a Sinclair-type dinosaur right in front of the lot. It weighs about 2 tons. That delivery wasn’t going to happen.

Disappointed that the Sinclair-type dinosaur was not coming home with us, I selected a modest 250-pound concrete dinosaur. We dubbed him Desi (as in the ’60s rock group Dino, Desi and Billy). Desi wouldn’t fit in the back of my 12-year-old little Honda. My friend volunteered her husband’s rattle-trap truck.

On a sweltering summer afternoon my friends delivered Desi.

When they arrived, we were in the sanctuary of our air-conditioned house.

Our friends pulled into the driveway, and within minutes, neighbors hurried over to talk to them. While we are not unpleasant, we don’t know them very well.

They don’t know us either, as they misidentified our hot friends as us, and started talking.

“Really like what you’ve done to your yard! It looks tremendous. We’re so happy that pool [translation: meaning eyesore] is gone.”

Our friends truck didn’t have air conditioning. After the two-hour drive from Louisville with no a/c, they looked like Granny and Jed from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Our friends corrected the mistake and came in.

Had the neighbors looked inside the truckbed, they would have discovered Desi.

Desi was moved to a prominent place in our backyard, in full view of the neighbors.

Somehow I’m surmising our neighbors, so delighted over the pool removal, aren’t as happy about the presence of Desi.

Wait until I paint him purple and green this summer!

Amy McVay Abbott is a freelance journalist and author of “The Luxury of Daydreams.” She can be reached at amymcvayabbott@gmail.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

  • KNISELY: Let the games continue I try to learn something every week. It used to be every day but that got tiring after a while. Well, this week I learned that everyone is a comedian. And by everyone, I mean everyone. I wrote last week about how my hatred of oranges turned into an

    April 13, 2014

  • PETERS: Vitamin D levels can be checked

    My mother lives with me and I'm involved in her medical care. She's a tough cookie. But like many 88-year-olds, she has several health problems. We visit her doctor at least once a month to report what's working and what isn't doing the trick. Recent

    April 13, 2014

  • GUEST COLUMN: United Way offers details explanation It has been brought to the attention of the United Way of Cass County (UW) administration that unfair and inaccurate reports have surfaced regarding the recent decision by the UW Board of Directors to remove Mental Health America of Cass County (MHAC

    April 13, 2014

  • HOWEY: Mike Pence for president? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 13, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.