Rossville man continues Christmas lights display while recovering from leg injury

91-year-old Calvin Cottrell is able to continue his traditional extravagant Christmas lights display this year thanks to help from family.

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 12:01 AM

ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) -- One Rossville resident is hoping to spread joy in the midst of his recovery. 91-year-old Calvin Cottrell is known for his home's extravagant Christmas lights display. This year he broke his legs just weeks before he finished putting them up. Now his family is stepping in to keep the tradition alive.

"Mom and dad used to go around and look at the Christmas lights, displays at different places and they decided that they wanted to start decorating their farm so they started small," said David Cottrell, Calvin's son.

One simple decoration that started on the Cottrell family's flag pole outside their home has turned into a Christmas display with more than 300,000 lights.

"The lights are like everything to him and so he'd already had the stable out and the nativity means so much to the family we went ahead and put the nativity out but other than that, Calvin put up all of those lights," said Betty  Cottrell, David's wife.

David and Betty say Cottrell spent almost the entire year prepping his home for this year's holiday display. They say earlier in November he had been working on his display and fell and broke his legs while in his home later that evening.

"You know, you might have expected him to break his legs out there but no, it was in the house," said Betty. "It was fortunate that it happened in the house and not outside where would have been out in the mud or something like that when it happened, but yeah, God was looking out after him," added David.

While hundreds have made it a family tradition to view these lights every holiday, David and Betty say it's really Cottrell who gets the most from this.

"He just loves the joy that people get out of it," said David. "It just gives him the enthusiasm to continue on and if it wouldn't be for that he might not be here because it keeps him active."

Although it isn't shining as bright as the former displays, the family is happy he made it close to completion.

"It's enough that it was worth turning on because he had a lot accomplished and I'm just glad to be able to be apart of it," said David.

The lights officially lit up on Thanksgiving night. It will be up for display until Dec. 29. You can view it anytime between 6 to 10 p.m. Cottrell's home is located at 3113 W County Rd. 800 N Rossville, IN 46065. The family said Cottrell is recovering well and should be back home soon. He's currently recovering at the Mulberry Nursing Home located at 502 W Jackson St. Mulberry, IN. The family said the community can send cards and letters there to show support.

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