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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Yard art that you can look up to

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The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 22. Valverde: Daisy, Donald, Black Beauty and Rudolph.

The eastern portion of the Valverde neighborhood is a pack rat's paradise. It is located in one of those hard-to-find areas that is zoned for both residential and light industry. It's not uncommon to see a pre-fab concrete warehouse face a block of perpetually renovated homes surrounded by yards that teem with rusting trucks, multiple sheds and old boats filled with miles of rain gutters. Protection of personal property seems to be of the utmost importance, as security fencing surrounds nearly every business and home. However, just as good fences build good neighbors, they also tend to make better yard artists.

Figure 22 demonstrates how one Valverde neighbor makes the most of his yard by putting the yard art on the fence. Placing "all of his ducks in a row" indicates that this neighbor is well organized and knows the best way to a peaceful home is to make the backyard playfully inviting. A plastic rocking horse painted with black auto primer and hung high above the clothes line suggests a romantic spot for the lady of the house to while away her hours in the hanging of wet laundry. The ever-ready Rudolph encourages kids to to carry their toys and noise to the far reaches of the backyard, and away from the puttering of the yard artist in residence. The entire arrangement seems to argue that it is possible to have it all, but only if it all is strategically placed.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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