Woman keeps roadside mannequin looking stylish throughout the year
by Sally Litchfield
June 30, 2013 12:00 AM | 2438 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nelle B. Purvis stands with her bridal scarecrow in the garden area of her Marietta yard. Purvis' daughter-in-law and grandchildren gave her a simple scarecrow 15 years ago and she has upgraded it to have a mannequin head and torso and changes its outfit according to the season.
Nelle B. Purvis stands with her bridal scarecrow in the garden area of her Marietta yard. Purvis' daughter-in-law and grandchildren gave her a simple scarecrow 15 years ago and she has upgraded it to have a mannequin head and torso and changes its outfit according to the season.
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Like Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell, the scarecrow that stands in a garden owned by Nelle and Olan Purvis at the corner of McDaniel and Burnt Hickory Roads is a model of sorts, changing its clothes with the seasons or holidays.

“The scarecrow was originally a garden scarecrow with a colander for a head. It held spoons and pots and pans. It was just sort of there,” Nelle said.

Nelle received the scarecrow as a gift 10 years ago from her daughter-in-law, Maureen Bridges, and her three children. Nelle has three grown children and seven grandchildren.

“It was just sticks and pipes, and it had a head,” she said.

Nelle gave the scarecrow a facelift.

“I got a head that was a hairdresser’s head. It had a face and hair,” she said.

The scarecrow’s wardrobe changes with the time of year. “I add hats and clothing to suit the occasion or the holiday. I just vary it with the season,” Nelle said.

The scarecrow might be dressed in a Easter frock or a simple gardening outfit. In June, it is seen as a bride. “Sometimes people give me clothes to put on him or her, castaways,” Nelle said.

Nelle described the scarecrow as a “shem.” “(The scarecrow) can be a he or a she. It’s just neutral. It can go either way,” said Nelle, who has lived in Marietta since 1955 when she worked as a home economist with the Agricultural Extension Service.

After her children were older, she returned to teaching and retired as an educator from Bells Ferry Elementary School.

When asked if the scarecrow wards off the birds and other animals, Nelle answered laughing, “hardly.”

Though the animals might not take notice, people often stop and photograph the scarecrow.

“People with children will stop. She gets a good bit of traffic. You don’t see many (scarecrows) I guess. People look to see if she’s changed clothes, what she’s wearing, if she’s in style,” she said.

“It’s just a fun thing. I like to have a lot of fun and enjoy doing different things,” Nelle said.

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