DECATUR — Sitting prominently on the porch of Terry and Bonnie Propsts is a new friend for the couple, Cleo-Pot-ra.
The elaborate decoration has drawn attention to the Propsts’ Decatur home.
“A lot of the neighbors wave at her when they drive by,” said Bonnie Propsts. “And it is darling.”
Cleo-Pot-ra’s four-foot length spans across the family’s porch bench. Her legs are created by stringing a stack of approximately seven similar sized terracotta pots. The arms are made from slightly smaller pots. The head and other features are created using various other sized planters. What gives her a distinctive feature is the flowing ivy creating beautiful hair.
The Propsts received the planter approximately one month ago.
Cleo-Pot-ra was made by Tess Leckrone, who has a few terracotta dolls of her own. “I helped name her’s,” Bonnie Propsts said. “Potricia, Potter, and Cleo-Pot-ra too.”
The names all have a connection to the flower pots. “My husband calls them Pot Heads,” Bonnie Propsts said.
The makeup and facial features were designed by Leckrone, who also decided on the plants growing from inside the heads and other areas.
Before the Pot Heads came to life, Leckrone saw similar flower pot people while reading a magazine more than 25 years ago.
“I tried to figure out how can I make one,” she said. “I tried and tried and finally got it the way I thought it would work.”
Leckrone lived on Fitzgerald Street at the time. The yard ornament, which consisted of a child-sized flower pot person, brought traffic to the neighborhood, entertaining many living on the street. To move the hefty yard ornament, Leckrone said she needed the help of four people.
Since moving to Greenswitch Road years ago, Leckrone has made another child and two more adults to join the family. “It gets easier the more I make them,” she said.
Through trial and error, she will fix the mistakes that create each individual doll. “It takes one week or two to do it,” Leckrone said. “I try to do it when I have time.”
The most recently made flower pot person was for her friend Bonnie Propst, who added her touch by naming all of the Pot Heads.
The variety of plants creates an additional characteristic to each pot person, which changes with the season. “The spring and in the fall is filled with color,” Leckrone said.
Props among the flower pot people, including a small fire truck and a ladybug for the children, add variety to the displays. With a bigger yard, the display continues to draw a parade of families and photographers through the neighborhood. “They are doing it for fun,” Leckrone said.
The holidays are another opportunity to make Cleo-Pot-ra Propsts part of the family. Pumpkins and lights can be added to the laid-back decoration. “I could see that,” Bonnie Propsts said.
29 celebrities with Decatur ties
29 celebrities from Decatur
Gary Forrester, a New Zealand-Australia based musician, composer and poet who was profiled as one of the major figures in the Australian music scene during the 1980s and 1990s, was born in Decatur and grew up in the Effingham, Quincy and Tuscola areas.
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Jenny Lou Carson
Jenny Lou Carson, originally known as Lucille Overstake of the Three Little Maids, was born and raised in Decatur. She went on to write "You Two-Time Me One Time Too Often," which was the first top country hit written by a woman. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 1971.
June Christy, an American singer hailed as "one of the finest and most neglected singers of her time," was known for her work in the cool jazz genre. She was born in Springfield in 1925 and moved with her family to Decatur when she was 3.
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Brian Culbertson, an American contemporary jazz/R&B/funk musician, has written and produced over 25 No. 1 contemporary smooth singles on the R&R, Gavin and Billboard Radio charts. He was born and raised in Decatur.
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Howard Warren Buffett
A graduate from Mount Zion High School, Howard Warren Buffett currently is a faculty member at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and was previously a policy adviser in the Executive Office of the President of the United States under President Barack Obama.
Steve Hunter, born and raised in Decatur, is an American guitarist best known for his collaborations with Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bette Midler and Meat Loaf.
Richard Peck is an American novelist who was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel "A Year Down Yonder".
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Icon for Hire
Icon for Hire, formed in 2007 in Decatur, is an American rock band that has had two Billboard-charting albums.
CeCe Frey is a pop singer from Mount Zion who finished sixth place on seasontwo of "The X-Factor."
Charles Earl Boles
Known as Black Bart, this English-born outlaw lived in Decatur during the 1860s before becoming one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and Southern Oregon in the 1870s and 1880s.
Homer 'Boots' Randolph
Best known for his 1963 saxophone hit "Yakety Sax", "Boots" Randolph played with the Dink Welch's Kopy Kats in Decatur from 1948-1954.
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Herbert Dickens Ryman
Herbert Dickens Ryman, who grew up in Decatur, was an artist and Disney Imagineer who drew the first illustrations of Walt Disney's vision of a theme park that eventually became Disneyland. His filmography includes Art Director of Fantasia and Dumbo.
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- Newspaper clipping: Herbert Ryman named MU Alumnus of Year for 1976
RonReaco Lee is a television and film actor best known for his roles as Tyreke Scott on "Sister, Sister" and Jamal Woodson the BET romantic comedy "Let's Stay Together." He was born in Decatur.
- Newspaper clipping: Child actor got start in Decatur
David Joyner, best known for his role as Barney, was born in Decatur and graduated from MacArthur High School in 1981.
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- Online: Energetic David Joyner a natural TV talent as Barney, Hip Hop Harry
Historian Stephen Ambrose, born in Decatur and raised in Lovington, was the best-selling author of books about Lewis and Clark and World War II.
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Howard Graham Buffett
Businessman and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett was the Corporate Vice President and Assistant to the Chairman of Archer Daniels Midland from 1992 - 1995 and is the founder of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. He currently resides in Decatur.
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Most recently known for her worked on Clint Eastwood's "Changeling," Decatur-born Kerri Randles also opened the first ever Hollywood Fringe Festival with her one-woman show "Can't you Hear Me Knockin?"
Musican-actor John Doe, born in Decatur, paved the way for alternative rock with his band X before turning to acting in movies such as "Great Balls of Fire!" and "Boogie Nights".
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Eisenhower alumni Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock, Jr. was a right-handed hitter who won four National League batting titles and is one of only three right-handed hitters to have won multiple National League batting titles since 1960.
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Freddy Krueger, the world's No. 1 professional water ski jump champion, was born and grew up in Decatur.
James W. Loewen
James Loewen, a sociologist, historian and author best known for his book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong," was born in Decatur and was a 1960 graduate of MacArthur High School as well as a national merit scholar.
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Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR
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