By Megan Bristow
The Duncan Banner
“You can just never have too many lights,” Bobby Copeland said.
That is the spirit that Copeland, a Duncan native, has decorated his yard with each Christmas for almost every year since 1967. At the time he began his tradition, Copeland was living in Navy housing. When he decorated that first year, Copeland said he won the award for having the best decorated house on base — NAS Whidbey Island.
“We won the contest in 1967,” Copeland said. “That spurred me on.” He wond again at NAF Warminster.
With the exception of a few years, Copeland has decorated his yard every year since then. Copeland said his decorations usually go up shortly after Thanksgiving but he said he started before Thanksgiving this year because of a period of nice weather.
“I enjoy it very much,” he said. “It is the best part of the year.”
Copeland said he believes that if people could share the feeling that his lights give him, it could change the world we live in.
“If people and the nation could feel that way year round, it would be a great,” he said. “It would be a different place.”
His decorated, lit yard at 1103 W. Washington Ave., has becoming something enjoyed by his family and also by the community as he sees many people stop and gaze upon the Christmas scene.
“I feel a sense of pride that they stop and think it is worth looking at,” he said. “I think people appreciate people trying to make it look prettier and more Christmasy.”
Some of the decorations in his yard date back to his first Christmas that he decorated while others he has added to the collection or picked up at garage sales.
“I go to a lot of garage sales if I see they have Christmas stuff,” he said.
Although the yard is already a wondrous stop in the neighborhood, Copeland still feels like more could be done.
“It needs more color, more blue and more green,” he said. “That was something I was trying to get done this year but I just did not get around to it.”
Besides his decorating hobby, Copeland also enjoys woodworking. He has made several wood pieces that are also on display in his yard.
Copeland, who was born here in 1935, graduated from Duncan High School in 1953. In 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft mechanic. After four years of service, he came back to Duncan to try and find a job in the civilian world, but jobs in Duncan were scarce because of a recession. Copeland again took up life in the Navy and stayed in until retirement. His daughter, Connie Copeland, is proud to share his time of service to the country — 21 years in the Navy, and another 20 years of civil service.
He retired and settled down in Washington until he decided to come back to Duncan in 1998.
“I got tired of the wind, rain and cold,” Copeland said. “I thought, ‘Well shoot, I will just go back home. I think the wind blows just as much here. It is just not as cold.”
After his return to Duncan, Copeland first worked at Walmart and then moved on to janitorial duties at the Simmons Center, where he worked for 11 years. He now just enjoys sharing his love of Christmas with his neighbors and the community he has always known as home.
“He is 77 and I pray he will have a lot of Christmases, but you never know,” Connie shared with The Banner.
By Megan Bristow
Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight
In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research
Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.
Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world
We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.
Fast food comes to standstill in China
The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country
VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner
A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.
Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates
This week FiveThirtyEight released the results of a poll of Americans' opinions on the "Star Wars" universe. Not surprisingly, Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the series. As Walt Hickey notes, the Gungan from Naboo posted lower favorability numbers than Emperor Palpatine, "the actual personification of evil in the galaxy."
Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese
The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.
What we get wrong about millennials living at home
If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.
Daybreak Diner Vs. Jimmy's Egg: Who takes home the bacon?
Is Duncan big enough for two breakfast joints?
Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive
For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.
- More Features Headlines
- Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight