Weekend essay: ‘Priscilla Pilgrim’

Weekend essay: ‘Priscilla Pilgrim’

A dainty lady arrived in the mail Monday last, encased in bubble wrap in a long box filled with foam pellets.


She stands just over 34 inches tall and weighs slightly over a pound. In her hands, folded humbly in front of her, she holds four ears of freshly harvested corn.


Her round face is punctuated by her wide eyes and a broad smile that makes her already high cheeks appear even higher and turns her nose into but a button.


The lady’s attire is classic Pilgrim, circa 1620 – a bodice and apron-covered skirt with a coif upon her head. And there’s a certain glow to her, especially when she’s plugged in.


Obviously, this lady is no tramp. In fact, she’s a classic Don Featherstone plastic blow mold decoration that arrived just in time for Thanksgiving.


You might not know the name of the Massachusetts sculptor but surely you know his most famous blow mold – the plastic pink flamingo.


“Priscilla,” as I’ve dubbed this lady, has taken a place of prominence on the front porch, to the left of the front windows. She joins another classic Featherstone creation, the lighted blow mold turkey, wall-mounted to the right of the windows.


Together, and with the flickering candle lights in the porch light sockets on either side of the front door, well, the ol’ homestead certainly has a classy look to it, whispering “Happy Thanksgiving!” with a small “h” and “t.” And hold that exclamation point.


It’s a nice contrast to the flashing blow mold pumpkins of Halloween and a great prelude to the coming blow mold Christmas carolers and even Frosty the Snowman set to bow as they usually do on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.


Now, more than a few people find classic holiday blow molds as tacky as those often much larger inflatables of contemporary decorating. Never mind that the former are scaled better and are far more quiet than their latter fan-blown counterparts.


But, to each his holiday own.


Especially this time of the year, there’s something quite soothing and festive about the inviting glow of those old blow mold decorations – comfort food for the eyes, if you will.


“In every thing give thanks,” as St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians reminds us. Blow molds included, one should gladly suppose.


Colin McNickle is a senior fellow and media specialist at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).