Family’s yard a flock full of fun

11/6/2012
BY REBECCA CONKLIN KLEIBOEMER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
John & Bonnie Tursich with their collection of flamingos at their Perrysburg Township home.
John & Bonnie Tursich with their collection of flamingos at their Perrysburg Township home.

When mail arrives at the home of John and Bonnie Tursich addressed to "The Flamingo Family," they know it's meant for them.

Well, them and their little pink plastic friends.

The creatures posed in various scenes in their front yard at 13600 Roachton Rd. in Perrysburg Township draw many an admirer, some of who send thank you cards.

"We're amazed at how many people stop," Ms. Tursich said, adding that her husband worries they may cause a chain-reaction accident some day as cars slow down to take a look.

Motorists heading to the West Side Montessori school across the street are slowing down anyway, and staff, parents, and students all take a peek.

"We check it out every morning. There's always something new," said Nicole LeBoutillier, of Perrysburg, who brings her 4- and 6-year-old children to the school.

The newest additions to the family came from the school itself.

"We sent them some babies," receptionist Lauire Groff said. "We just have such a blast seeing what they're going to come up with."

Mr. Tursich turned one of his big flamingos into a stork and wrapped the little bitty birds dressed in tiny pink and blue scarves in a sheet.

Flamingos hold a tailgate party in the front lawn of John & Bonnie Tursich's Perrysburg Township home.
Flamingos hold a tailgate party in the front lawn of John & Bonnie Tursich's Perrysburg Township home.

He has arranged his collection into a soccer match, Fourth of July cookout, Thanksgiving dinner (guests, not the meal), and Santa and his flying reindeer.

"They just pop into my head," said Mr. Tursich, a technical support worker for Catholic Health Partners.

He made a beach volleyball court and a medal podium stand in honor of this summer's Olympics, and the addition of political campaign yard signs turned the creatures into President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney for an election debate.

Mr. Tursick also had plans of squaring off the flamingos with another collection of garden gnomes on a football grid.

He and his wife find props and costumes at garage sales and discount stores. They even figured out what to do with some costumes made for cats.

"We looked at each other [and said] those would be great for Halloween," said Ms. Tursich, who works as a baker for St. Ursula Academy.

Their collection isn't confined to their front yard. Inside, a 4-foot-tall wire-framed flamingo lamp sheds light onto figurines, pot holders, and salt and pepper shakers with  pink feathers, curved beaks, and long legs.

"It's just been fun doing it," Ms. Tursich said.

Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at rconklin@theblade.com or 419-356-8786.