- Associated Press - Saturday, October 4, 2014

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - Mavis Schroeder and her family have enjoyed driving past Darold Mayer’s farm, largely because of its massive display of lawn ornaments.

“We’d always be slowing down the car and craning our necks a bit to see if there was anything new he had out there,” Schroeder, of rural Osseo, said last Tuesday morning before the start of an auction on Mayer’s property just southeast of Eau Claire.

“The kids kind of had a game, trying to see what was new or where a certain animal or Christmas decoration was going to be that year,” she added. “It will be sad to see it all gone.”

Mayer, 82, is in the process of selling the property and moving to Eau Claire. He will miss the farm where he and six of his seven siblings were born and where he’s lived his entire life, the Leader-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1yzuxIK ) reported.

“I stayed here and took care of the farm and my mom and dad,” Mayer said. “It will be sad to be leaving all this, but it’s time.”

There were hundreds of lawn ornaments - everything from lighted holiday scenery to plastic and wooden animal-shaped items.

Mayer said he picked up many of his displays at auctions, including some while working with Jerry Andrews of Andrews Auction Service of Eau Claire. Mayer also had a friend make others.

“Darold came to auctions and he used to help me some. He’d see something he liked and he’d buy it,” said Andrews, who ran last Tuesday’s auction. “He had by far the largest collection of lawn ornaments I’d ever seen.”

“I just had them because I enjoyed having them,” Mayer said.

A jovial Mayer mentioned children on buses that went past his place “pushing their noses out of the windows to see all the stuff out there. They’d keep hollering at me because I didn’t put it out right.

“I was getting too old and putting out Christmas stuff all the way back in July because I couldn’t get it out there in time,” he added with a laugh. “I really don’t have a favorite; they are all my favorite.”

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Information from: Leader-Telegram, http://www.leadertelegram.com/

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