Every October, the corner of Second and Montgomery Streets in Marietta is the location of a particularly fall phenomenon. Perhaps you’ve noticed the antics of the friendly, neighborhood scarecrows who’ve taken up residence there or the passers-by who stop to see what they are up to. One day they might be riding a bike, the next, soaking up the rays of a sunny day. For one month, they bring joy to the community that takes notice.
Marietta resident Rick Peoples and his wife Judy have had a scarecrow resident for the past twelve years. “I decided we should have a scarecrow in the front yard during Halloween season, so I made one,” said Rick. After a few days, Rick thought the scarecrow should be in a different location, so he moved him. “Someone noticed and thought it was cool to have an ‘active’ scarecrow, and I continued moving him to see if anyone else would notice.” They did, and the fun, new tradition began.
Every day, the scarecrows take up a different activity – except on some weekends, and when it’s raining. The father and son scarecrows visit every year, Rick said. “Five years ago, though, a girl appeared on the scene. That was the year my daughter was to be married, so the scarecrows got all dressed up and had a wedding.” (The little guy carried the bride’s train, but wasn’t invited on the honeymoon.)
It is really heartwarming to hear that kids and adults come by every day to see what they’re up to.
Over the years, Rick said he and his wife have received kind comments from people stopping by or leaving notes on the scarecrows. “It is really heartwarming to hear that kids and adults come by every day to see what they’re up to.”
To date, the scarecrows have been left to their own devices and haven’t been disturbed – except for that one evening when they were in sleeping bags enjoying a beautiful fall night. “When I checked on them the following morning, I discovered two empty wine bottles neatly tucked under Dad’s arms,” Rick said. “They weren’t there the night before!”
Rick doesn’t have a plan for what ‘the guys’ will get into each day. It often depends on what he finds in the basement or around the house. “If I know what they’re going to do, it usually doesn’t take long to create the next adventure for them,” he said. Often the scenes are in sequence and build one day after the next. Creating the wedding scene was one of his favorites. “I also enjoyed the fishing and camping this time of year. Zip-lining was cool, too, but a bit challenging – for them and me!”
There are so many people that take different routes to work each day, just to see what the scarecrows are up to.
While Rick has fun with the tradition each year, he thinks it’s great that so many people drive or walk by. He’s even been encouraged to do something similar with a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny, but he said that isn’t likely to happen any time soon.
“It’s just so fun to watch how many people follow along and love this tradition each year,” said Rick’s daughter, Emily Prather. “My dad gets so many notes and cards from kids and families saying how much they love driving by each day. There are so many people that take different routes to work each day, just to see what the scarecrows are up to.”
The Second Street scarecrows have certainly become a favorite October tradition for many in the MOV, a tradition we hope continues for years to come.