Hearne: Ding Dong, Prairie Village’s Father Christmas Takes a Bullet

The handwriting was already on the wall…

But as of Thanksgiving night it became offical – Prairie Villager Mike Babbick‘s 40-plus year Christmas tradition was dead-on-arrival.

“There is no display on Falmouth this year,” Babick sighs. “I’ve been thinking about it and I read the ordinance real well and everything we do we won’t be able to do.”

When Babick says “everything,” he means everything.

For decades the retired septuagenarian has hardwired his tiny Prairie Village ranch on Falmouth street with animated elves, snowmen, reindeer nativity scenes -you name it – all things Christmas. Whereupon tens of thousands -0 generations of locals – gathered starting Thanksgiving night and throughout the holidays to take in the splendor.

No mas.

That despite the fact that websites like Kansas Travel have continued to feature festive photos and directions to Babick’s home. And only very recently did the organization add the admonition, “Closed by the City of Prairie Village in 2012

Which isn’t to say, the faithful haven’t kept coming.

“I’m still having traffic come by,” Babick says. “It’s nice to talk to the people and they understand. I’d say about 1,500 people came by Thanksgiving night, so that’s not really too many cars. Maybe 500 cars, one bus and a couple limousines.”

Some of Babick’s neighbors were fearful a protest movement might gather.

“No, no protesters,” Babick says. “A couple people honked their horns, but there wasn’t any protesting, no urinating on people’s yards or anything. Some people came in to say hello.”

“Most of our neighbors weren’t here (Thanksgiving) night,” Babick says. “I don’t know if it was out of fear or what. But if I put up one light I’d have a $2,500 fine and a year in jail. I had my flashlight out because my granddaughter lost her keys, so I hope that wasn’t in violation of the ordinance.”

As for dealing with his loss, Babick is circumspect.

“I can deal with pain,” he says. “I’ve dealt with pain all my life. But it’s just not the same this year without the decorations.”

Any parting shots at the Prairie Village Council that tormented him?

“You mean with a loaded rifle or a blank pistol or what?” Babick quips. “Oh, what’s been done has been done, the talks are off and there’s a cease fire. But there’ll be more conversations and debates, I’m sure. Because a lot of people are upset. All I know is the city of Prairie Village hates Christmas and that’s it.”

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18 Responses to Hearne: Ding Dong, Prairie Village’s Father Christmas Takes a Bullet

  1. Lee says:

    I pity his neighbors who have had to live with his selfish spectacle each year. Imagine being unable to get in and out of your driveway due to the constant unending stream of cars up and down the block, Being unable to have your friends and family over to your house because no one can park on that street. Having hundreds of people tramping over your yard each night so that it is a mess come spring. Being unable to live in a peaceful neighborhood for six weeks. Being unable to sell your house because no one would want to live on that block.

    1500 cars in one night down a small residential street. That’s not too many–unless you live on that block.

    Yes, everyone in Prairie Village just hates Christmas. That’s the real problem.

  2. Super Dave says:

    Gee Lee glad you are not in my family you sound rather hateful.

  3. Super Dave says:

    Ok I understand for now he can’t have his normal display till this runs the gauntlet here, but to say he can’t do one light or face a fine is rather absurd as well. Then again maybe that is what the city has told him. But see the city of Prairie Village hasn’t played fair with this at all. Sorry you can’t tell one he has to pay outrages costs and tell others they don’t or provide them with a free location with free electricity as well. Taxpayer’s dollars are being spent for people to see one display for which the owner of said display isn’t paying the city one dime for.

    So if he was told he can’t put up one single light does that mean nobody in The Village can? Sounds like a huge setting for a very large discrimination suit to me. Man I am glad my Dad no longer has his huge display at 67 and Nall. The poo would have no doubt hit the fan for sure.

    Hearne is right this is getting some national exposure and I have seen it in other publications.

  4. Ray Due says:

    I wouldn’t try too hard to make Prairie Village out to be the bad guy here. The real story here is that several residents of the street sought some relief from the city, and finally got it. Just what a representative government is supposed to do.

    A nuisance is one of the oldest causes of action in common law. The right to “quiet enjoyment” of their lands, and all that. Try dealing with the noise, traffic, litter, bratty children, trampled lawns and parking that gaudy getup delivered for six or seven straight weeks – every night – and you’d do the same thing: wish the guy would move, or appeal to the city to take care of something that any reasonable person would consider the textbook definition of a nuisance.

    Which, by the way, is what they considered it. A nuisance. Everyone on that street knew not to bother inviting anyone over between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, unless it was like noon or something.

    Hate Christmas? No. Enjoying the peace and quiet neighbors sought, and paid for? This year, yes, thank you.

  5. harley says:

    mike…don’t give up…theres got to be a loophole. Put the decorations up…shine
    big lights up to your house.
    The question I have is where are all the guys on kcc crying about big government
    causing people their freedoms. Wheres chuck? mikey? glaze? wilson?
    the rest of the right wing possee not helping mike out to get his rights of
    freedome of speech from the repubs in johnsoncounty.
    You guys bitch and moan about the encroachment of government…but
    its happening right here in kc and you’re not protesting or helping your
    buddy out. WHY???????????????????????

    • chuck says:

      It’s not too hard to see both sides of the issue.

      It just is what it is.

      I used to go see the display every year and I loved it, but, I am sure the neighbors were dramatically inconvenienced.

      Super Dave and Ray Due both make good points on both sides of the issue.

      45 days every year of not getting a good angle at your driveway, might get under your skin a little.

      When ever I took the kids there, it was PACKED!

      I will miss it.

  6. Rick Nichols says:

    As “Dandy” Don Meredith used to say, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.” Shades of things to come?

  7. smartman says:

    Harley, why don’t you get your attorneys from Eihart, Black, Cox & Dix on this case. They owe you some pro bono work don’t they?

    • harley says:

      where you been smarmyman? Fixing up those diseased hot tubs for
      black friday?
      Oh and I missed you after election. You blew the prediction big time
      like your friends. Now..noone takes anything you say seriously. Just
      another fool on the net.
      Now go back to greg hall’s site where they find your stupid brand of
      humor funny. Your shctick got old here and we never really missed

  8. smartman says:

    Harley. I wasn’t wrong about the election. The voters were. Read the English version of Pravda and see what Vlad Putin and the Russians are saying about why Obama got reelected. I’ll summarize for you in one word you can relate to….IDIOTS!

    • harley says:

      smarmyman…get back to cleaning those hot tubs! You were wrong
      about everything. Using a russian and pravda as your defining
      data as a source of what to think about the election shows you
      are not very smart. Since when does anyone (excpet you) pay
      attention to putin and his opinions…hes an even bigger loser than you.
      and pravda…a fine upstanding media that has no slant on the
      smarmyman…go back to those gross hot tubs you clean out.
      Does your wife even let you inthe house after dealing with that

      • chuck says:

        Here is the article harley/JoJo.


        I don’t believe Smarty is asking you to forgo your morning dump with the New York Times (The best place to read the Grey Lady is hovering over Grey Water.), he is illuminatig a foreign viewpoint on the outcome of the election.

        The article is not a right wing take and calls for less defense spending etc etc.

        Putin does call the American electorate “Illiterate”.

        You’re not helping.

        • harley says:

          chuckles the sadclown…
          who in the world really gives any credence to pravda
          or putin? Noone except you and smarmyman.
          Putin…the idiot? Pravda…are you serious.
          You take this man and this media source as reliable
          definers of this election inthe u.s.
          as if you and smarmyman ever cared before what
          pravda said…and of course putin has been a great
          leader of the russians..NOTTTT!

          most corrupt nationintheworld…with one of the
          worst ssytems inthe world…and you and smarmyman
          give credence to what this man says.
          that you two areso desperate to try and berate the
          nation and its leader that you use a second tier
          dictator and an old worn out media source as your
          YOU LOST CHUCKLES THE SAD CLOWN…the american public is not illiterate…they’re not stupid
          as you and smarmyman contend.
          you lost…you got your a$$ kicked
          and america rejected the b.s. you and smarmyman
          were trying to push. You were wrong onthe biggest
          election in american history….
          So to stoop to using a foreign nickel d*ck dictator
          to substantiate the wrong claims you guys make is
          ab solutely stupid.
          I would not expect anything better from a guy who
          sells diseased infeested hot tubs for a living…
          nor would i expect anything better from you chuckles..
          you’re a bitter man with a bitter angry attitude toward
          life and all the good things in america.
          People like you and smarmyman need to go hide..
          the world has passed you by and you are so out
          of touch with the real world that it makes it really
          hardto take either of you seriously.

          • Eh…, not so much Mr. Haley.

            We read at a 3rd grade level for the most part. Our math skills ceiling is Long Division (Spelled ‘Long divishun’) and our impact on the future of this country will be assessed in terms of EBT SNAP CARD exposure for the ever dimininshing white middle class who have, are now and will in the future pay for everything we own.

            Gotta go, our Obama Phones be ringin off da hook.

  9. smartman says:

    Harley, you just proved Pravda’s point. Perhaps you should broaden your horizon’s. The way that the US is viewed throughout the world has a direct impact on our economy, foreign investment and the usual hegemony stuff guys like Chuck and me jerk off over.

    And quite honestly Vlad Putin can and will have more impact on US foreign policy over the next four years than BHO will.

  10. mark smith says:

    I’ve yet to see an interview with people living on that street where they praise the guy for turning their street into a parking lot. Your right to turn your house into a Christmas destination doesn’t trump your neighbors right to peace and quiet.
    Harley, shut your pie hole about the election. It’s over. Your guy won. Continually flapping your yap and gloating just makes you a bigger douche nozzle than you already are. No small feat by the way.

  11. zak says:

    His house looks like it should be in Raytown. He should spend his money on remodeling his house.

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