A little white house sits on Summit Street; it looks similar to the one next to it, yet it stands out from all the rest.

Jennie Frickie and friend Gerald White decorate the front yard of their home for every season and every holiday, going all out to add a little extra to All Hallow’s Eve.

Frickie says White is the “muscle” behind getting all those decorations out for every holiday and over the years has collected enough to warrant building a 16×32 shed to house it all.

Jennie Frickie and Gerald White show off their decorations just before trick-or-treaters converge on their neighborhood for Halloween. Michelle Bates/Press-Herald
Jennie Frickie and Gerald White show off their decorations just before trick-or-treaters converge on their neighborhood for Halloween. Michelle Bates/Press-Herald

“Every holiday we start with Halloween,” she said. “For Thanksgiving, I’ll do my pumpkin patch in November and for Christmas, I’ll decorate. Then the next one is Mardi Gras, Easter and the Fourth of July.”

She’s been decorating her yard for Halloween since October 2009, adding she moved back into the house in which she grew up in June 2008.

“That’s when everything started getting bigger and bigger,” she said.

She loves to decorate, she said. She has a degree in home economics, now called human ecology, and took courses in showcase window decorations. She retired from the Department of Children and Family Services in 2011, after 45 years and returned to Minden.

“It’s a hobby,” she said. “I just love to decorate. And after I retired, I wanted to do something I wanted to do, and this is it.”

Frickie and White add to the collection every year, she said. New this year is the ghost between the flagpoles and the large pumpkin hanging from the window on the front of the house. They also have a Christmas tree decorated for Halloween with little skulls and ghosts. It is a tree they bought at Walmart, Frickie says, and they changed all the bulbs to orange lights.

For those who come through their yard, trick-or-treaters will also see something lurking around the house.

“We’ve got eyeballs in the bushes,” White said, “and they blink on and off at night. They’re called peepers.”

Frickie says they look like animals lurking in the night.

“We have a lot of animated stuff, but we’re not going to be able to do it this year because of the rain that’s expected to come in,” she said. “We have a witch we set on the front porch, talking heads, ghost girl and a gatekeeper that we’re not going to be able to put out this year.”

Frickie and White say the kids love the decorations and the spirit when they come to their yard.
“They love it,” she said. “We usually have around 500 children. I sit out here – I dress as a witch – and I have a black cauldron I give out candy from. Last year, I knew how much candy I had, and I had a bunch more after I ran out of candy.”

This year, the couple is prepared for more than 500 children.

Frickie and White were high school sweethearts, dating for all four years of high school. She went to college and he joined the U.S. Navy. After a 10-year tour in the military and a short stint in California, White came home to Minden and worked for the City of Minden, retiring in 2002. After working as a security guard for the casinos, he retired again in 2010 and is now enjoying life with the love of his life.

Frickie’s home was built about 1936, she says, and she is the daughter of George and Inez Lorraine.

Frickie and White are graduates of the 1961 class of Minden High School.

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