The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...
Figure 30. Marston: Pot-bellied Confederate fire plug
Marston is a thin slip of neighborhood that juts deeply into Jefferson County and is cut off from the rest of the city of Denver by Marston Reservoir, and the residents couldn't be happier. The housing was built in the 1960s and '70s and largely occupied by policemen and firemen, who were then forced by city ordinance to live in the city limits of Denver. Here they could live like Lakewooders and Littletonians and still draw a fat Denver paycheck. The residency rule was repealed in 1998, yet Marston still retains the feel of a suburban police state. Aside from the million-dollar mini-mansions of Grant Ranch, every aging tract home sports a camping trailer and/or boat, and a Neighborhood Watch sign is posted about every 100 feet on every street. These emblems of masculinity, combined with the distance from downtown, give Marston the feel of a trip to the south.
The rebellious Dixie spirt is best captured in the yard art of the home pictured in figure 30. Such a prominent display of the Confederate flag clearly implies a home owner who believes in the freedom of the distinct cultural tradition of the South(western portion of the city) from the perceived oppression of the Denver government located up north. The potbellied stove tucked between the evergreen bushes suggests an extreme fire danger, especially to the flag. That the entire display is ringed with watering cans and accented by a fire hydrant hints that this indeed may be the home of a Denver fireman who stands at the ready to protect a bygone era of southern sovereignty.
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