To the editor:

On my daily trip down the newly paved west side of Main Street in Portland on the way to my pinochle klatch, I passed a house that until a week ago was a little late taking down its abundant holiday lighting.

Whenever I see holiday lights, I am reminded of the scarcity of them in World War II. Back then, lights were wired in a series, which meant if one light went out, the whole string was out until the offending light could be located. This was a time-consuming exercise involving the use of one new bulb being tried in each bulb’s place until they come on again. There was lots of screwing around.

At any rate, this reminded me of an editorial by Jack Ronald about the absence of any set rule about the proper removal of said lights. This, in turn, reminds me of a guy who lives on Indiana 44, just south of my son’s house in Morgan County.

This guy goes by the name of Wrecks, no Rex. Rex could mean king, but I guess Wrecks was kind of a king. He was a holiday lights king.

Indiana 44 in Morgan County runs like a snake, with elevations of 70 to 80 feet. Wrecks’ house sits on top of a hill overlooking a six-acre lawn unfettered by anything taller than one of three magi.

Wrecks’ house was festooned with lights from every eave, every dormer window, every fireplace flue and every door jamb to be seen from the road.

Trees and shrubs and the grape arbor were lit, too.

Wrecks didn’t go overboard on Christmas with red and green lighting. But his passion for lighting was not confined to just Christmas. Halloween brought black and orange, Easter meant blue and white. St. patrick’s Day is green and white, and all-patriotic holidays, red, white and blue.

Now, Wrecks was not the most ambitious of men despite the work required, the climbing and moving of ladders and hauling miles of wiring. Wrecks devised a way to drastically reduce his workload. Wrecks just changes the bulbs.

Larry Chittum

Portland