Ron and Betty Manolio's Eggshelland (2013 final year) in Lyndhurst, & Steve Kaselak's Jellybeanville (currently active) in Euclid, Ohio
Photographs by Fred Scruton: 2014-2018
Project: Seasonal Displays
From a small scale beginning in 1957 to 2013 – the year after Ron’s death – Ron and Betty Manolio filled their suburban front yard with real hand-painted (by Ron) eggshells. Based on Betty’s graph paper designs, new themes and figures appeared annually. A three-generational-family-installation-project overseen by Ron and Betty in later years, sometimes more than 30,000 eggshells were needed. The Lyndhurst Fire Department sent a hook and ladder truck yearly allowing fireman photographers to capture the full Busby Berkeley overhead effect,. As of 2019, a local preservationist group, the Euclid Beach Boys has for several years arranged to display sections of Eggshelland at indoor Cleveland Easter-time locations.
Steve Kaselak lives in the family home of his childhood and he’s decorated the house and yard at Easter-time since he was a young boy in the 1960’s. Since the late 1980’s, the full scale Jellybeanville extravaganza has been on annual display, and like Eggshelland, its become a local tradition that brings generations of visitors. Jellybeanville is a mixture of hand-crafted figures and commercial purchases that change annually: for example, Steve’s wooden cutout mother is always in residence, wearing a new dress every year. On Easter Sunday, Steve is nowhere to seen (no doubt resting from the one-man two-week installation), but the Easter Bunny (AKA Peter Cottontail) comes to Jellybeanville and spends the day handing-out basket of treats, greeting the constant stream of visitors, and posing for pictures. Jellybeanville raises money for a domestic violence center, gets lots of local media coverage, and in 2019, this photographer was there 24/7: