Saturday, April 3, 2010

Clara Ann's yard show

In November I posted a blog about a yard show I stumbled onto while driving around east Atlanta and Decatur, Ga. At the time, the homeowner was not there. The sign in the front yard said the Earls, so I assumed it was a family with the last name Earl. Turns out, the homeowner is a single woman, Clara Ann Earls. I saw her Saturday and learned her yard show is threatened. A neighbor complained to code enforcement the yard was "nasty, junky, full of paper," so the government paid a visit and informed Ms. Earls the display must be scaled down, she says. She vows to fight to keep it intact. The yard is decorated with "motivational items" targeted at unmoored youth who get in trouble, Ms. Earls says. She works Falcons games, patting down football fans as they enter the stadium, so a number of the items show Falcons players because they've achieved great success through sports. Soccer balls lined up in the yard are intended to send the same message about sports being an avenue to success. President Obama's family is featured. On the trees in Ms. Earls' yard hang teddy bears, companions to the very young. Ms. Earls ministers to the homeless and substitute teaches. That woman who complained about her yard doesn't even go to church, she says. I understand the neighbors' concern that a yard show might be an eyesore, but I'd hate to see the creative output of a good-hearted person squashed.

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