By Deanna Ryan
Each year for the past fifteen years, Orrie and PattyJo King transform the front of their home on Quail Drive in Swainsboro into a Christmas wonderland. The couple who has been married for 56 years do most things together, including creating their larger-than-life size front porch decorations.
When they first started decorating their home for Christmas, actual reconstruction was required because the house was built with a column in front of the main door. Ollie removed the column and replaced it with two columns 8-ft apart, the same distance as the floor to roof of the porch. This created the perfect dimensions for a large 8-ft wooden wreath that now frames the front door. While Ollie built the wooden structure, PattyJo found (mostly from dollar stores) or crocheted the needed “froufrou”, as she calls it. PattyJo is an expert with the hook who can crochet anything from the large stocking that hangs on the door to tiny Valentine candies.
One year, Orrie told PattyJo he had a vision of taking boxes and making 3-D nutcrackers. PattyJo said she wasn’t seeing it until he started to put the boxes together. Now two nutcrackers stand on both sides of the wreath, setting the stage for Christmas merriment. Ollie has made more than one pair. If you would like to see the 6ft nutcrackers up close, drive out to Quail Ridge or visit Franklin Memorial Library, where there are two more of Olli and PattyJo’s collaborative creations.