Home twinkles with holiday spirit
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 09:48
ROSSFORD - Even in Rossford that takes its holiday decorations seriously, Bob Densic's home at 107 Birch Drive stands out.
|Bob Densic (right) and his wife Tiffany Densic (left) of Rossford are seen with their light display on their property in the background. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
His front yard is packed with lights that cascade and blink and twinkle, and ... well, exhaust the thesaurus' listing of synonyms for luminescent extravagance.
That's the way Densic likes it. While his display is elaborate and a technical challenge to stage, the motive behind it is about as simple as it gets: "A sense of the excitement and wonderment about Christmas as a kid, it brought it all back to a now 45-year-old kid."
That's why he's named his display: "The Ageless Child's Christmas."
The display attracts a steady stream of cars who can watch the 36-minute looping display and tune to 97.7 FM on their car stereos and listen to the soundtrack of Trans-Siberian Orchestra music.
They are also encouraged to show their appreciation and get into the giving spirit of Christmas by leaving a donation for Beyond Our Walls, a charity to help the poor run by Cedar Creek Church.
Densic said in the six previous years he's raised about $3,500 for the charity.
Growing up in Millbury his parents decorated their home in more modest fashion. When Densic moved to Rossford 18 years ago, he was delighted to have a place to do a more elaborate display. Then in 2005 he saw a video online of a house with an animated display. It was a display that later got national play on a beer commercial.
Densic recalls that since he only had a dial-up internet connection, it took him 45 minutes to download the video.
When he saw it though, he told his wife, Tiffany: "That's something I need to do."
So as busy as one of Santa's elves he set to work.
The light display is a complicated endeavor that Densic works year around - he's already considering changes for next year.
In its current incarnation it includes 62,000 bulbs of various colors and draped in various shapes.
Those bulbs are all controlled by computer. Outside Densic has 23 controllers each with 16 channels. All this is connected by three miles of extension chords, which Densic and his wife make themselves.
"The planning time is tremendous," he said.
From February through October he works on programming the music. "That's where the real time comes in," he said. He tries to add a new song every year.
Then he starts graphing out the lighting action. It's similar, he said, to designing a fireworks display. He has a detailed schematic that dictates when each bulb will light.
As an architect, he has a sense of design, but the technical aspects he had to learn along the way.
He benefited from the help of the community of Christmas light enthusiasts. They have state and national meetings, he said, and are always willing to help. This year, a Sylvania man helped him out by loaning him a couple controllers.
Making sure he doesn't overload his circuits is a balancing act, he said. Still the cost of running the display is "less than you would think."
He faces other obstacles. Densic has to work constantly to keep squirrels at bay. They like to chew the plastic on the bulbs.
He also said he's gradually switching over to LED lights as incandescent bulbs get harder to find. Changing over all at once, he noted, would be too expensive.
The work setting up the display begins in October with the aim of flipping the switch the Friday after Thanksgiving. He recruits his wife, parents and nieces and nephews in the effort. Some years, including this year, technical problem intervene and the opening has to be delayed a few days.
Densic said he keeps the lights lit through the weekend after New Year's Day.
Densic turns the lights on after 5, the time gets earlier as the days grow shorter. He leaves them on until 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 p.m. on weekends.
He said he's gotten good cooperation from his neighbors, a couple have even encouraged him to expand the lights onto their property.
Interspersed in the soundtracks are "commercials" explaining about the display, but also encouraging consideration on the part of visitors.
Densic estimates about 1,000 cars pass through during a season, and most are well behaved. "If I hear someone outside getting a little boisterous, I'll go out and talk to them," he said.
Interacting with visitors is a big part of the joy. He and his wife will hand out candy canes and speak with visitors, he said. And he encourages them to visit other animated displays in the area. A box has a flyer with the locations of three other that raise money for the Beyond Our Walls as well as 15 other animated displays in the area for those with an insatiable appetite for outdoor holiday bling.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 13:41