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The Suburbanite
  • Jackson Twp. official has yard art appropriate to the holiday

  • Patriotism stands tall by a pine, not far from a pond, in the front yard at the home of Jackson Township Public Service Director Ralph Boger and his wife, Dorothy.

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  • Patriotism stands tall by a pine, not far from a pond, in the front yard at the home of Jackson Township Public Service Director Ralph Boger and his wife, Dorothy.
    Three 13-foot painted plywood colonial soldiers are posted guard there, each holding a flag, standing at the base of a pole upon which flies the American and Ohio flags. Behind them is the sturdy boulder that Boger brought years ago from his grandfather’s farm.
    The soldiers have been on display since before Memorial Day and will remain in view of passersby for a few days after the Fourth of July. Boger says his pride in displaying his love of country in public may stem from his military background.
    “I spent four years in the Air Force as a pilot and spent another 10 years over in Mansfield with the Ohio Air National Guard flying their planes.”
    Boger made one of the soldiers himself a few years ago after seeing the other two in the yard of Mark Miday, owner of Miday’s Nursery on Portage Street NW. Late in the 1970s, Miday had made four of the soldiers for his father-in-law, who used them to begin and end parades where he lived in Malden, Mass., north of Boston.
    “When he passed on, I brought two of them back here and offered two of them to Malden’s city hall,” said Miday, who sold his pair to Boger only this spring.
    Boger, who obtained plans for the dimensions of the soldiers from Miday in 2005, spent a winter month making a duplicate. He said the soldiers are “similar because I had taken pictures and used them to match colors.” Still, he noted a few subtle differences in the design when compared to Miday’s.
    “Mine has got a shoulder part and his two don’t,” said Boger. “Also, I’ve got round buttons on mine and his have square ones. And the collars are different colors. His are white and mine is red. The faces are a little different and all three guys have different haircuts.”
    Few would notice those things as they pass by on nearby High Mill Avenue NW. Boger illuminates the soldiers at night and has them chained to the ground to withstand the elements.
    Boger smiles when he looks at the giant, smiling, wooden men.
    “They entertain me as much as they do anyone else,” he said. “It’s a nutty thing to have in your yard, but there they are.
    “I hope as people drive by — they drive safely, of course — but they say, ‘Wow, look at that,’ because that was my first impression of them when I saw them.”
    Reach Gary at 330-580-8303
    or gary.brown@cantonrep.com.
    Page 2 of 2 - On Twitter: @gbrownREP