Enquirer Herald

Window display draws attention, imagination

YORK -- For more than three decades, Bobbie Brooks has given people a reason to come to York City Hall other than paying their water bill. Each holiday, she creates a display in the lobby to represent the season.

Fearing she was running out of ideas, Brooks planned to give it up until co-workers talked her into doing it once more for Christmas.

She's glad she did.

With the help of her husband Jim and York taxidermist Carl Lewis, Brooks turned the glass enclosure outside of council chambers into a winter forest scene. It's her most unique project ever, she says.

In the display is a 4-foot bear wearing a Santa's cap. He's carrying a bag of apples and looking over at his forest friends -- a skunk, fox and bobcat -- as snowflakes collect in his fur. A red sled is nestled among trees and branches, and a mink scampers down the sled.

"We got the idea from a Christmas card," said Brooks, a longtime city of York employee. "Originally it was just going to be a snow scene, but then we turned it into Santa bear bringing apples for the animals."

She lucked out on the bear, which came by default.

"I thought it would be cute to have a little Bambie in there," Brooks said. "But Carl Lewis (the taxidermist) didn't have a little deer. He had a big one -- a buffalo, too -- but that'd be too much."

Turned out the bear and forest critters were the perfect size for the display, she said.

Jim and Bobbie Brooks spent most of Thanksgiving Day putting up the display. It was Jim's idea to put the mink on the sled and make the bear a friendly one.

"We used our imaginations a little and I think now it's one of the greatest displays we've had," Brooks said.

-- Shannon Greene, Enquirer-Herald