By Todd Travis
One of Mike Hicks’ fond memories from growing up was riding around in the back of his dad’s pickup truck when they went around town – this actually gave him a good idea when he started thinking about Halloween decorations.
“I was thinking about the old days when I would ride around in the back of the truck, and I started seeing the skeletons people had for Halloween decorations. So I decided that since it’s illegal now for a person to ride in the back of a truck, maybe I’ll throw some skeletons back there and ride around with them during the Halloween season,” Hicks recalled.
A little help from his ‘friends’
These decorations were something that drew quite a bit of attention from people as he drove by with a few extra “friends” in the back of the truck. Hicks noticed as he drove around people would smile and laugh when they saw the way the truck was decorated. This helped him decide to keep doing it and to take it up another notch.
“Then about three years ago I saw those 12-foot skeletons that came out and I knew that somehow someway I wanted to get one of those in the back of my truck. So I just built a big box frame in the back made out of wood and I insert the poles that usually attach to the legs into that frame. After that I just started adding other small skeletons around it,” Hicks explained.
“The biggest thing for me is just to get people to smile, laugh – just forget about things for a few minutes and get something to talk about. When the parents or kids roll down their windows and comment on how cool it is, I tell them that seeing them smile makes my day and that’s what it was all about – that was my intention behind it,” he continued.
A crowd pleaser
The truck has gotten quite a bit of attention from around town. With the 12-foot skeleton being the centerpiece, he added about eight or nine regular skeletons in the back of the truck and several in his front and back seat as well. Hicks likes to drive around and hit some of the hot spots where he knows there will be a crowd so that as many people can enjoy the decorations as possible. He even drives the truck down the highway with all the decorations securely attached while he drives 65 mph.
“Everything is securely fastened on to the truck so that I don’t lose a skeleton arm or anything while I’m driving and of course for the safety of everyone on the road,” Hicks stated.
The Grinch that stole hearts around Christmas
Hicks decided he wanted to extend the fun into Christmas. So he took a skeleton and decorated it as the Grinch.
“I screwed a bunch of wrapped presents made of wood on to the back of the truck along with stuffed animals, red wagons, hula hoops, bicycles and even a lit-up Christmas tree. I think that one actually ended up being a bigger hit than the one for Halloween, but it’s pretty close,” Hicks described.
He was even invited to the Brown County Christmas parade.
“I didn’t know it was going to be big like this as it is. But I really enjoyed the parade, seeing the kids light up when the huge 12-foot Grinch was rolling at you with all the toys that he stole was quite the sight,” Hicks laughed.
Holiday fun for a cause
Hicks wants to use his creativity to help raise money for a nonprofit.
“What I really want to do is decorate my hay wagon with a Whoville scene set up and take it downtown to try and raise money for coats for kids or maybe toys for tots. I might be able to get it done this year, but it takes a lot of time to set up, so we’ll have to see,” Hicks mentioned.
Watch for Hicks’ display as you drive around this holiday season!