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Nativity scene in Mount Wash. certainly catches eyes of many

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By Alex Wimsatt

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Some might call it inspirational, others might call it odd. 

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Whatever you call it, most will agree it's worth a double take.

In the 32 years Bob and Sharon Brumett have resided on Bethel Church Road, the nativity scene in their front yard has stopped more than a few passersby during the Christmas season.

"We've had lots of people stop to see it," said Sharon Brumett. "Some people told us they drive by our house every year around Christmas just to see it."

What makes the Brumett's nativity scene unique is that Jesus, Mary and Joseph are portrayed by department store mannequins.

Sharon Brumett said she came up with the idea behind the nativity scene two years after she and her husband moved into their home. 

As the red barn in their front yard provided the perfect backdrop, the Brumetts considered how best to depict mother, father and child. 

"We needed figures large enough that they could be seen from the road and I thought, mannequins would be perfect," said Sharon Brumett.

But finding mannequins, as the Brumetts found, was no easy task. 

After making numerous calls to Louisville department stores, the couple found a Jeffersontown man who had purchased some mannequins from one of the stores.

Neither of the Brumetts could say how much they paid the man for them, but both recalled paying a reasonable price.

Donning linen and robes, the same mannequins have stood under the barn in front of the Brummett's home every December since 1982. 

"They're about worn out," said Bob Brumett with a smile.

And aside from when they were arranged in obscene positions, Bob Brumett said no one has ever messed with the mannequins, with the exception of a neighbors dog, which made off with baby Jesus some years ago. 

Incidentally, the mannequin was returned. 

Though peoples' reactions to the nativity scene have surely varied over the years, Sharon Brumett said most she's spoken with have enjoyed the display, adding that many have found comfort and inspiration through it in their times of need. 

"That was the idea," she said. "You see Santa everywhere and I thought it would be a nice reminder of what Christmas is all about."

Since the nativity scene was first displayed 30 years ago the Brumetts have welcomed everyone who has stopped to see it and they have greeted every visitor personally as often as they could. 

To those who would like to see the display, Bob Brumett wished to point out that it's especially beautiful at night when the barn is lit.