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Light of my Life


Holiday display shares tale of love to passing motorists

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Theresa Jones holds her valentine, boyfriend Richard St. Clair, next to a Valentines Day display on their home in Tigard. The home, located along Highway 217, is decorated for several holidays during the year.Richard St. Clair is one of the most well-known people you’ve never met.

Thousands of people drive by his home every day, which stands only a few feet from Highway 217 near the Greenburg Road exit.

On his roof stands a 5-foot-tall bright, red heart being shot with an arrow by a wooden cupid.

Decorating his roof has become a tradition since St. Clair moved in three years ago.

In the summer, St. Clair is often spotted on the roof, sitting in a lawn chair with a large light-up palm tree.

“We have the perfect palette here, and with the freeway, everyone sees us,” said St. Clair.

Standing on his roof, the noise of the highway is nearly deafening, but St. Clair and his girlfriend Theresa Jones pay it no mind as they admire their large Valentine’s Day display.

“Every year he wants to add another season,” said Jones, an experienced woodworker who designs and cuts all of St. Clair’s decorations.

“People know to look up here,” she said.

For Christmas, St. Clair — a mechanic at H & H Auto & Transmission Center in Tigard — put up lights and a crashed sleigh onto his roof. A drunken Santa Claus statue was seen urinating off the roof onto the road.

“That was my idea,” Jones joked.

His decorations have become a local landmark for passersby and even made it onto a Christmas card the couple received.

“We got a Christmas card with a photo of our own house,” said Jones. “It was from a neighbor who wrote us and said, ‘Man, you have the most awesome display.’”

The card showed a photo of the Santa Claus statue relieving himself. The message inside the card stated: “Pee’s on Earth.”

Crazy for lights

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Theresa Jones hugs boyfriend Richard St. Clair, at their Tigard home. Their decorations are seen by thousands of people every day as they drive past on Highway 217 near Southwest Greenburg Road.“Richard always wants decorations on his roof,” Jones said. “It’s 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Below his roof, St. Clair is no less a fanatic when it comes to lights and decorations.

“Richard loves lights,” Jones said. “His house is lit up all the time.”

Inside his 600-square-foot home on Southwest Shady Lane, St. Clair has five chandeliers and lights of different sizes and colors. Outside, his fence, shed and porch are decorated with lights, as well.

“Richard loves them. It’s his thing,” Jones said. “He loves to celebrate the holidays. He makes me want to celebrate holidays, too.”

“Nah, I just like to put lights up,” he said, giving Jones a wry smile.

Decorations aren’t new to St. Clair.

A few years ago, St. Clair said he wanted to move onto Southeast Peacock Lane, the famous Portland neighborhood that decorates during the holiday season.

His decorating days began in the 1970s, when he decoratedhis house to play in time to the Led Zeppelin song, “House of the Holy.”

When he lived in Beaverton, he would light up his home each Christmas, including a gigantic evergreen tree that towered outside his home.

“They all slowed down as they drove by,” St. Clair said.

Living along Highway 217, drivers can’t slow down anymore, but that doesn’t stop him from decorating his home for Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas and summertime.

“It’s the location,” he said, looking down at the speeding cars. “It’s a great location for this.”

As for the next thing to go on St. Clair’s roof? He’s not sure. Plans are in the works to add St. Patrick’s Day and Thanksgiving decorations in the future, Jones said.

“Maybe we’ll put up a sign,” St. Clair said. “It will say, ‘Advertise here.’”