By ANTHONY IRIZARRY | Staff Writer
We welcome the bell chimes like harbingers to a winter morning while reminding us of the long-awaited day that comes but once a year. The Christmas season doesn’t arrive without the loyal neighborhood camaraderie of snow-covered homes.
One home stands above the rest, offering more than the traditional in decor. Located near Food Lion and Cat Fish House, this house stirs the interest of Clarksville passersby for its unique light display.
The house and yard are adorned with a variety of Christmas decorations and when drivers tune their car radios to 92.3 FM, the lights sync to the rhythm of the holiday music playing.
Paul Stevens, the home owner, was inspired to create the glowing musical marvel when his granddaughters had urged him to get lights for Christmas.
Stevens employs the use of a system called Light-o-Rama, which serves as the conduit for the lighting synchronization.
Stevens talked about the hard work that goes into every season’s show. “It took me around 20 man hours to get everything set up.”
Although Stevens has been doing this four years, he still gets frustrated.
“Sometimes even after you put it all up, you’ll find that one of the bulbs just busted, so you have to take that part down and replace it with a new bulb.
Nightly, the average turn out consists of 150 or more cars. Christmas Eve, Stevens claims their will be at least 20 cars lined up waiting. Stevens distinctly remembers two past visitors that have motivated him to continue his project.
“There was a young child who was roughly five years old. He was in a wheelchair and had come knocking on the door and asked to sit in the driveway,” Stevens said.
The boy sat there nightly and Stevens later realized it would be the boy’s last Christmas after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The second was a 42-year-old autistic man who had never spoken. The only moment he didn’t suffer from tantrums was when he visited the home.
It didn’t occur until the second year when the man visited Stevens’ home. When the lights flashed, the man spoke for the first time in his life, and in pure magical Christmas irony his first word was “light.”
“Those two people alone made it all worthwhile.” TAS