Brother's memory kept alive with manger scene

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Holly Fesperman Lee

Salisbury Post

More than 40 years ago, as children Judy Basinger and her brother, Freddy Spry, made a manger scene together.

Spry passed away in 1975 and that same manger scene still sits in the yard of Judy and her husband, Eli Basinger, at 2920 Sherrill’s Ford Road. It’s there to honor the memory of Freddy Spry.

Eli said his wife and her brother took a postal card and used it to draw a nativity scene onto some flexible board.

They cut out the figures and painted them. “We’ve never repainted it,” Eli said.

The Basingers also have lights on their house and a handmade santa with sleigh and reindeer display.

“We made all that in the shop,” Eli said.

A candy cane archway leads visitors to the Basingers’ house and there are several fiber optic items on the porch, but, “We make sure we put the manger scene out. That’s our main thing. If I didn’t put anything else out it would be out every year,” Eli said.

The Basingers started decorating for Christmas when their children were small. Eli said he started to stop a couple of years ago but some of the neighbors asked when he was going to put up his Christmas lights.

“I just kept on doing it since then. I didn’t want to disappoint any of the kids,” he said.

Eli said he and his wife do try to add to their display each year. Being in a bigger house has helped.

The family used to live in a smaller house closer to the road and didn’t have as much room to decorate.

To visit the Basingers’ light display, take N.C. 150 west and turn right on Sherrill’s Ford Road. The Basingers live in the first house on the right after passing Majolica Road.

Contact Holly Lee at 704-797-7683 or