Sign replaces holiday display after vandals strike
COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Vandals hit a Cobb County home stealing and destroying the holiday decorations in a family’s front yard. The family’s decorated their yard for years and they have gained the reputation of having the prettiest display with the best inflatables, but it’s now all gone. In its place is a lonely sign stands in the yard explaining the senseless Christmas crime to a saddened community.
What has happened at the East Cobb home has become the talk of this community. Ken Hatcher spent hours, just about every major holiday, putting up inflatables. He put a bunch of them in his yard on a busy road so people can see them.
They aren’t there, but in its place is a sign with a message to those responsible, but what it states is a bit surprising. It reads, quote,
“To the person who keeps tearing down the holiday decorations with nothing else to entertain you, we wish you a very merry Christmas. To those who have enjoyed them over the years, we are sorry to have to remove them.”
“They would be deflated. They would have been pulled up from the ground, scattered around the yard, unplugged. And at first, I thought, well, the wind is doing it. But then the stakes were pulled out,” said Hatcher.
Hatcher and his wife started putting up massive inflatables for the community to enjoy. This year, vandals stole his lights, inflatables, and even knocked down the Santa on his front door step not once, but four times. So, Hatcher decided it was time to take them down.
“Initially I was frustrated and angry, but I thought the thing to do was to appeal to their better judgment and sensitivity,” said Hatcher.
“They always add so much joy and cheer to people’s lives. Even the smallest act of putting something up can change the entire heart of the Christmas season,” said Sydney Spessard, who enjoyed the displays.
Mr. Hatcher then e-mailed what happened to Tracy Valentine at Signs For Tomorrow to make the sign.
“My immediate thought was ‘I’m just going to give it to them. I can’t understand why people do this,” said Valentine.
Mr. Hatcher said since he’s taken down the inflatables, he’s gotten e-mails, texts, even notes in his mailbox from neighbors and people in the community, asking how they can help. He said he’s enjoyed the inflatables for the last 12 years, but felt that he had no choice.
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