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Editor's column: A traveling Christmas decoration

Michael Romberger's decorated pickup truck. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

This is a traveling Christmas decoration. Michael Romberger's 2002 Ford pickup is decorated for the holidays.

"I like that it makes people smile and I liked the idea of decorating," high school junior Michael Romberger said.

Romberger saw a truck with lights around its truck bed and Christmas tree in the truck and decided he'd like to decorate his truck.

"It kind of brings out the Christmas spirit," he said.

Indeed. Romberger's decorations are subtle but noticeable. They may not shout "Merry Christmas" but they do heartily share the greeting.

Romberger has placed colorful red, green and gold tinsel on the front of his truck grill. He's also attached a snowman to the front grill. He's attached a string of lights to the light bar on the truck's hood.

While visions of a lighted truck driving down a Morris street filled my head, Romberger said he can't have the lights operating while the truck is moving. That would be a distraction, he said. ,The truck still gets attention when the lights are off.

"A lot of times when I'm driving around people notice it and smile at me," Romberger said. "It's kind of fun."

Romberger also told me about a couple of features I didn't see when the truck was parked at a convenience store one recent morning. He has equipped the truck with underglows. Those are lights on the bottom carriage of the truck.

He has red and green lights. "They light up red or green. The ground around it turns that color," Romberger said.

He also bought an LED remote package with 16 different colored lights. Those have color strobes and the color fades in and out in a cycle. "The lights flash to the beat of the music," he said. "Sometimes I have Christmas music playing and set up the lights to flash to the beat of the music."

Again, those lights can't be on while he's driving the truck.

When I interviewed Romberger on his cell phone he was sitting in this truck in the Pizza Ranch parking lot, he had his underglow lights on and music playing.

You can see Romberger's truck at the Pizza Ranch because he works there. Or near Ace Hardware because he works there too. Or maybe you can see in the parking lot at Morris Area High School because that's where he goes to school. Or you could see it at the University of Minnesota Morris because he attends classes there. Plus he is involved in student activities such as robotics at MAHS.

Wow. I understand why Romberger said it made sense to decorate his truck. He's traveling in that truck a lot. All of his travels and his involvement means folks have a lot of chances to see his decorated truck.

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