Larry Poppins will not tell you his true name at first. First, it’s “Peter picked a peck of…” He claims to live in Pacific Beach, has long hair, is maybe in his 40s, and walks around with a large green parrot on his shoulder. Stand too close and the parrot will start eyeing your shoulder for a visit.
Discovered in a shady corner of the Kohl’s lot on Balboa Avenue, Larry is the artist in residence of the Christmas Car. The older Dodge minivan is decorated for Christmas both inside and out, from the running boards to the top of a 12-foot-high tower. Around what seems to be an immense, adorned white birdcage, Larry reports there are 122 angels. He is not really into Santa, but you can find one “Santa in a car” on the roof.
The “woody” side panels have been painted in a snowy Victorian-town motif; the work of attaching tiny (3/8-inch) figurines continues. A development of homes is beginning on the hood.
Larry is quick to share stories about past Christmases when he received either no gifts or very many. He claims to have once received a toilet seat as a gift. He does accept donations of holiday items or cash but is not a solicitor.