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Beck Turns Telephone Poles Into Christmas Carolers

A group of Christmas carolers adorns the lawn of Marlin and Shirley Beck, Pettisville. Each is made from a section of telephone pole and is “dressed” with old shirts, hats and scarves. Inspiration for the group came from a trip to Michigan.– photo by D. J. Neuenschwander

A group of Christmas carolers adorns the lawn of Marlin and Shirley Beck, Pettisville. Each is made from a section of telephone pole and is “dressed” with old shirts, hats and scarves. Inspiration for the group came from a trip to Michigan.– photo by D. J. Neuenschwander

People who drive or walk down Dame Street in Pettisville might notice a small group of Christmas carolers on the lawn in front of one house.

Those carolers are the creation of longtime Pettisville resident Marlin Beck.

Marlin first got the idea for his carolers many years ago on a trip in Michigan.

He and his wife Shirley saw something similar in a coffee room at the hotel where they were staying. Marlin said he made some notes and sketches at the time. When he returned home, he got to work.

He cut an old telephone pole into three or four lengths, painted faces on them and added old shirts, hats, and scarves, turning them into Christmas carolers.

A few years later, he obtained another pole, and added more carolers. There are now a dozen.

Marlin said he has to repaint them every few years, and he changes their clothes from time to time.

Currently, one caroler has a shirt with the name of his son Craig’s California guitar studio.

Marlin made a pattern for a miniature guitar and cut it out of wood, so the carolers now include a guitar player to accompany them.

Marlin uses a spotlight so the carolers can easily be seen at night. He said that setting them up is getting harder as he ages.

His daughter Liz came and helped this year.

Marlin said he enjoys making and displaying the carolers, and will continue the display as long as he is able.– D.J. Neuenschwander