Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Caught in the act

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 6. Hale: (Am)Bushed

While there is no university program in place to earn a degree as a Yard Arteologist, the training can take years. It would almost be fair to say that the coursework is only available at the School of Hard Knocks, through the Department of Chance Encounters. Sidewalk sessions are often called by curious homeowners and overprotective neighbors, who will lunge forth with suspicion but in the end provide valuable information in the interpretation of yard-art displays. My thanks go out to the neighborhood watch woman who interrogated me at length for loitering too long on her block.

I was stuck staring -- strangely drawn to the tiny green, mid-block Mediterranean bungalow with the molded evergreen bush. Her surprise attack of questioning was quickly quelled by my stellar cartoon credentials and confessions of adoration for such a unique and curious display. Satisfied with her safety, she started a story of her eighty-year-old neighbor that ended with his coming outside a couple of years ago with a hedge clipper to sculpt the bush into the likeness of Ralphie, the bison mascot for the University of Colorado at Boulder. I would have never been able to see it without her training. Which just goes to prove that learning never stops, whether you're enrolled at university or learning on the street.

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