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Hobbyist Creates 1000+ piece Christmas Village

Windham – When one walks into Windham Village resident Ted Stryczny’s garage, one will not see cars, motorcycles or even a bicycle but what one will see is his version of a man cave. Now, you will not find a beer cooler, game table, big screen television or even a recliner in this man-cave but you will see his collection of Christmas villages. He has so many villages it almost takes up his entire, two-car garage. He has all sorts of villages including the typical Thomas Kincaid, and the not-so-typical ones like a prison, cemetery, a hobo village, an Indian village, a sledding hill, amusement park, and so much more. One really would need hours to look at and enjoy the man’s displays.

Each scene is well done, with all the elements one would expect to find in a typical real- life village. The hobo village has an outdoor tin tub with a hobo taking a bath, the Indian village is complete with teepees and an outhouse, the sledding hill has snow, sleds and bales of straw at the bottom of the hill, in the flea market one can see folks shopping and all the items in the market place, right down to the antique magazines.

His village depicts life and is many villages within a village that has two HO scale trains that run through them. He even has one village that has rescue workers in action, so to speak, and another one that has moving amusement park rides. The villages depict people of all races and cultures, including the Amish.

Many of his buildings are lighted and have been named for his family. One will see the post office, seven churches, a train station, houses, general store, fabric shop, quilt shop, toy store and restaurants. He also has included Alcatraz, Wal-Mart, and JoAnn Fabrics along with what Ted calls God’s House; it is a house with a bobble head Jesus sitting atop a bookcase that overlooks his entire village creation, making one feel that it will be ok, Jesus is on duty.

His collection doesn’t stop there. He has tractors, a phone booth; trees, kids, animals, a popcorn machine at the amusement park, handmade grave markers, a flag, fishing poles skaters and even a political sign can be found in his villages. The small details are what make this display amazing.  Ted has built the covered bridges, rivers, roads, forests and even a few of the buildings. His collection has over 1000 pieces, including over 85 buildings along with all the accessories that depict life-like scenes in his villages.

His village collecting hobby took root nearly 35 years ago and has grown into a passion that Ted shares with his family and friends, especially his small grandchildren. His grandchildren love the village so much that Ted started collecting kid-friendly pieces, which he keeps in a box for them, so they can play and create their own village right along with Ted.

This wonderful display is open to the public. Maybe one day he will be able to create a room or building that could house all the villages so more folks could enjoy them.

Denise Bly has been a correspondent for the Weekly Villager for five years. She also does the public relations for Garrettsville SummerFest and the Garrettsville Area Chamber. In her spare time, she can be found at most local events, especially J.A. Garfield’s, high school and middle school athletic and musical events. When not out and about in the community, she can be found at home reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.