Cyd - Through the Years

A 173 Short

173's Grotesque (Gargoyle)

The yards here at 173 have a lot going on, lots of bushes, trees, flowers and planters all over the place.  But it wasn't always that way.  Back in '97 the yards were pretty empty. I think we had three yews in the front yard, one of which was pretty well spent and dying.  In the backyard there was a rose bush or two,  and a couple peonies.  But (obviously) things didn't stay that way!  No, this post isn't really about the yards, it's a simple, quick look at 173's gargoyle through the years.

In The Beginning

So when we really first started looking at doing something with the yards, we thought about gargoyles. I know what you're thinking - you're thinking why?    Well, probably because we weren't too many years removed from living in Europe, walking among the many, many, many stunning old churches and buildings, many of which had fascinating gargoyles.  Oh - and even though 173 has a grotesque, I'm going to call Cyd a gargoyle for the rest of this post.  

The difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque is easy to remember. A gargoyle is a decorated waterspout that projects from a roof and carries rainwater away from the walls of a building, protecting it from damage, whilst a grotesque is a decorative carving that has no functional architectural purpose.  - Gloucestershire Archives

The arrow in the picture below is pointing to Cyd fresh from the concrete yard statue store, and placed in the newly formed shade garden on the north side of 173.  Cyd stayed in this location for a couple years.  

Why "Cyd"?

You may have noticed me calling the gargoyle "Cyd", and you may be wondering why. It has nothing to do with the likes of Sid Vicious or Sid Bream that great Dodgers and Pirates first baseman from the '80s, or that TV icon Sid Caesar. No, Cyd is simply named after the great movie star Cyd Charisse, star of one of my favorite old movies - Brigadoon.

And while she may not be flattered having a gargoyle named after her, here at 173 it's actually something of an honor!

Moving On

Here's a closeup of Cyd in the early years.  Still clean and white, and the move to the South side of 173 had already been made, and the following shots were taken during and right after the shingling of the lower half of the back porch back in 2011:

Cyd as viewed from the sidewalk passing by the side of 173:

Tucked up next to the Weigela which will lead to some pretty cool pictures. 

And looking a little closer, you may notice that Cyd is starting to show just a little age:

And Time Goes On

So time marches on and,  much like the denizens of 173, Cyd continues to age and to show the signs of aging. 

And alongside Cyd, if you look closely you'll see Linus...a wonderfully odd pooch since day one!

As decorations in churches and cathedrals, [gargoyles] were said to ward off evil spirits. According to French legend, Saint Romanus saved his country from a dragon named La Gargouille. After defeating the creature, Saint Romanus burned its body; however, since the dragon had possessed the ability to breath fire, its head and neck could not be burned. Therefore, they mounted La Gargouille’s head on the wall of a church and used it to scare off harmful spirits.  - Jim Reed,

And this is how Cyd looks on a dry day in 2023. Clearly aging but we think gracefully here at 173!

And after a good storm, when Cyd is well soaked, you get the real sense of 20-some years standing guard at 173 in all kinds of weather!

On constant vigil in its natural habitat among the beauty of the back yard!

Thanks for stopping by and see you next time!
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