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SALT LAKE CITY — Those who prefer the road less traveled might consider a detour through a neighborhood on Salt Lake City’s east side where a woman’s home boasts a different kind of curb appeal.
Mary Denslow’s yard, which sits along 800 East, is adorned with a display highlighted by three seasonally-attired mannequins.
“This is Kevin, this is Brandy and this is Trent,” Denslow pointed from her front porch. “Right now, it’s just fun in the sun, and pretty soon they’ll be wearing their back-to-school outfits.”
Denslow said she shops for different clothes for the mannequins to match different seasons and holidays.
“It’s just fun,” Denslow said. “Most of it is from thrift stores. Some things I order online, but most everything are just things I bought. I found some graduation gowns at a yard sale the other day that they’ll be wearing in June.”
The front yard also features two larger-than-life sculptures of dogs Denslow has named Artie and Winston.
“I found them at a yard sale and they were originally from Petco — that they would use for displays,” Denslow said. “The guy that I bought them from did displays for stores so I was able to buy them from him.”
While the front yard may take center stage, Denslow is also proud of her back stage — the backyard.
From her yoga frogs to her "Wizard of Oz" wall, Denslow said the back is an eclectic mix of collectibles from places as far away as Mexico, Haiti, Iceland, France and Belgium.
Always be odd, never be average, because it’s so boring to be average — I mean, everybody’s average.
It also includes symbols of many faiths.
“We need to be more accepting and more loving toward people,” Denslow said. “You don’t have to like them, but you have to work with them, and you have to live with them, and you have to take care of each other.”
Denslow said her neighbors and passersby have largely been appreciative and respectful of the display, and several stop each day to take pictures.
Some neighbors, Denslow said, have been starting to take more chances with their yards as a result of hers.
She said what she didn’t want was an average yard, and her yard reflects her perspective on life.
“Always be odd, never be average, because it’s so boring to be average — I mean, everybody’s average,” Denslow said. “Be that ‘different drummer.’ That’s the way I was raised. That’s the way I raised my kids. Be that ‘different drummer.’”