Saturday, December 20, 2008

Story Book Lane

Our community has traditions, as does every town across the country.

One of our most noted traditions occurs throughout the month of December. We have something called Story Book Lane.

Story Book Lane began many years ago along one of the main streets in town. The neighbors had wooden cut-outs of nursery rhymes and they put them out during the holiday season. They were extremely popular and people would stop their vehicles along the street to look at the cut-outs, but it caused some traffic issues.

Now Storybook Lane is set up along one side of the pond of our city park. While it's up, the city makes the street one-way. No matter what time of the day or night you go by, you can always see vehicles driving through Story Book Lane. It's very popular.
We used to live about a block from the park and would drive the kids through anytime we left the house. It became part of our routine. Even though the boys are adults, we still go through. In fact, we went through last night.
Not only did we go through last night, but we will also go through on Christmas Eve. We always do.

Story Book Lane, like all things that are exposed to the weather, suffered a little.
For quite a few years I would always comment that refurbishing Story Book Lane would be a great Eagle Scout project for someone. Of course I don't know what the requirements are for an Eagle Scout project, so I might be totally off base.
Then the Rotarians stepped in.
Many of the cut-outs have a movable part, so the electrical aspect of each of those needed to be addressed. Most had stopped working over the years.

The Rotary took care of that.
In addition to refurbishing each cut-out, they also added a feature.

They made a sign that posted the actual nursery rhyme that went with each cut-out.

Adding the sign and fixing everything up was expensive. The Rotarians didn't want to take away the funds they use for other projects, so they needed to raise some money for Story Book Lane.

So various businesses and families sponsored the signs/cut-outs. I was very pleased to see that the sponsorships were acknowledged in a tasteful way.

The acknowledgment was at the bottom of each sign, in smaller print than the nursery rhyme.

However, in order to protect the privacy of those businesses and families, I erased them from these photos. (Hey, I'm trying to be responsible here.)

Story Book Lane is so popular that not all the businesses and families who wanted to sponsor a nursery rhyme were able to.

Isn't that amazing?

Before the signs were up, we would always try to say each nursery rhyme. Of course the kids were better at it than Ted and me.

Now keep in mind that these pictures were taken at night and I am NOT a very good photographer. That's why you can see things in the background, like a Pepsi machine, a small building, a bocce court, etc.

There's music playing as you drive through too. Yes, they play Christmas carols.

In this day and age of fiscal responsibility, the money that the Rotary raises for this project is also used to pay for the electricity of running the lights and playing the music.

The Rotarians are the ones who get the cut-outs put up each year too, so no city funded man power is used.

I also need to add that Ted was very patient as I kept telling him to move up just a wee little bit, or stop for an extra second so I could try to get a better shot.

Another really good thing came out of taking these photos. I also had to open up Photo Shop for the first time. I had them install it when I ordered this computer last May. But I never got into it. Sad, isn't it? I couldn't find any other way to block out the names on the rhymes, so I delved into it for the first time. There sure is a lot to it. I need to spend some quality time with it really soon.

At the end of Story Book Lane, they have this sign that you see above, in addition to another one that is also tastefully done, listing the "Friends of Story Book Lane." The people who wanted to donate funds to this project but couldn't sponsor a nursery rhyme could still donate and be listed as a friend.

That's what we did. It was the least we could do after all the pleasure it's given us over the years.


Jen said...

My town used to have similar displays, but usually with Christmas stories. Each street would do a different one. (Not my street, we were losers.)

Leeann said...

How fantastic is that? My kids would love that and frankly, so would I! I would love to see that!


The Arthur Clan said...

Cindi ~ that is so completely awesome! It's amazing what the rotarians do for their communities. My kids (and I) would love to see that!

P.S. You have got to play with Photoshop more. You will love what it does for your photos!

PERBS said...

They have a storybook lane in Portland that I went to see many years ago. It's a neat tradition.