Ditto: Neighbor creates laughs with funny holiday display

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, December 9, 2017
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Lighting the Season

LIGHTING THE SEASON – Pennye Shockey decorated her yard with the help of her neighbors Oakley and Presley Goodner. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

In the limited daylight hours after work, Pennye Shockey spent an entire week putting up lights and getting her 17 inflatables in the right place at her home on Old Base Road in Aurora.

“It grows every year,” Shockey said about her impressive display. “I started with lights, and I got my first blowup in 2003.”

Over her shoulder, Shockey points to the large Santa Claus riding in a plane as her favorite.

“It was my Christmas present last year,” she said.

Ditto 1

DITTO – Nathan and Misty Goodner lit their fence with the word “Ditto” to echo the display of their neighbors Pennye and Ronnie Shockey. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Ditto 2

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Along with the inflatables are cutouts of stockings and lights bundled together in the shape of Christmas trees. The largest tree, she pointed out, her husband, Ronnie, stood on a ladder and built.

“I’m scared of heights,” she said. “I run the lights up and down to him.”

To her, the decorations help spread the joy of the season.

“I love Christmas. I had a meek Christmas as a child,” she said. “It adds to the enjoyment of others. I get thank you notes from others saying they enjoy it.”

As Shockey was getting out her lights this year, her neighbors Nathan and Misty Goodner asked when her display would be finished. One night, the Goodners called her over to check out their display.

“We called and asked ‘Can you meet us out front? We needed an opinion on ours,'” Misty Goodner explained. “We got to see their faces when we plugged it up.

Along the Goodner’s fence in bright, blue flashing LED lights was simply the word “DITTO” with an arrow pointing in the direction of the Shockeys home.

“It was the funniest thing. We just died laughing,” Shockey said.

The Goodners admit they originally saw the idea on Pinterest. They committed to the project last spring when building a new fence.

“[Nathan] said, ‘I’m so doing those ditto lights,'” Misty Goodner said.

“He planned it for a long time. He even researched it – looking at Walmart, Home Depot and Amazon for lights. You should’ve seen him playing with the lights.”

One of his objectives was to have the arrow flashing as obnoxious as possible.

“He sat in the living room and played with the different settings until he decided that was the setting,” Misty Goodner said.

The Goodners knew their neighbors would be good sports about the sign. The two families have grown close over the last four years since the Goodners moved in from Charlotte, N.C.

“We’ve kinda adopted their children as our grandchildren. We get along really well,” Shockey said. “There’s no telling what any of us are liable to do.”

The Goodners’ daughters, Presley, 7, and Oakley, 8, help their neighbors string the lights and take them down at the end of the season.

“We like helping put up the lights,” Oakley said. “Except I hammered my finger. I’m not doing that again.”

Because her husband wanted the focus on the ditto sign, Misty Goodner said she had to demand for him to put the lighted wreath on the fence.

In the past week, the two families have noticed a lot of drivers stopping to take in the lights.

“There was one last Saturday that drove by and stopped, drove by and stopped and then backed up past the ditto and came back by it,” Shockey said.

Misty Goodner added: “They always have people stopping by to look. It’s tough to compete with that.”

The two families hope that everyone has enjoyed a laugh like they have this holiday season.

“The county could use some fun. Society needs some fun,” Shockey said.

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