Amanda Altman, property manager at Wheelersburg Senior Village on Ohio River Road in Wheelersburg, had been looking through windows with the blinds drawn for several days in anticipation of the Christmas village, being assembled by resident Joy Fulk behind closed doors.
Then, on Monday morning, in full anticipation of what she was going to see, Altman arrived at the Senior Village, and there it was in all it’s beauty and simplicity, the creation of Joy Fulk.
“I have never seen this display ever,” Altman said. “I came in this morning. The blinds have been down for days and I thought, is she going to do it or not going to do it. I came into the maintenance room, turned around – absolutely gorgeous. Every piece in its place, music, the whole bit and this is her own heart.”
Altman said she was overwhelmed, because it is not something the village has paid for and Altman concludes the display is what makes Wheelersburg Senior Village so special.
“This is my first year here and I heard about this magnificent display that she does at Christmas every year,” Altman said. “Joy is somebody that goes above and beyond. She decorates here and there for everyone. Sometimes she even has dinners for people. She has a heart of gold.”
Joy reluctantly reveals that she is 74 years young and all of the houses, buildings, accessories were given to her by other people. She said she has been assembling the village for the four years she has lived at the village.
“People just give them to me,” Fulk said. “I pick it up here and there and when people give to me I just add to it.”
If you are wondering why the display is behind glass, there is a simple explanation.
“I had that spare bedroom and I don’t use it for anything except to store stuff,” Fulk said. “So I just got me a table and started putting it out.”
When you talk to Joy Fulk for any length of time, you learn Christmas is not the only holiday she sets up displays for.
“For Halloween we do the pumpkins and scarecrows and things,” Fulk said. “Easter we do the bonny rabbits, and Fourth of July I do the servicemen and things. My family was in the service. I’ve got G.I. Joe dolls and tanks and more.”
There is movement in the display as well. You can see Santa, his sleigh and reindeer darting across the sky.
“My aunt got that for me this year,” Fulk said. “It’s Santa Claus going all around the world.”
How long do you leave the display up?
“I just shut the window down when they get tired of it,” Fulk said. “I just put the curtains up and take it down when I want to and save it for the next holiday.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis