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Downlink for Shade
Lamar EC member turns discarded satellite dish into nifty patio umbrella

The Bolyards
Courtesy the Bolyards

It’s like Ken Bolyard’s imagination was getting signals from abandoned, gigantic and obsolete satellite dishes.

“I’ve always wanted to do something with them, because there are so many of them laying everywhere. I saw one laying out in a pasture one day and asked the guy if I could have it,” said the Lamar EC member who lives in Powderley with his wife, Ann.

The dish lay in Bolyard’s backyard for several weeks while he waited for inspiration. In the end, he decided a patio umbrella was the fitting choice.

With the help of his son, Toby, Bolyard welded a wagon wheel to one end of a culvert. They cut a hole in an old patio table and slid it onto the culvert to use as a table and installed an outlet to plug in a strand of lights woven around the wheel’s spokes. A neighbor helped lift the dish to the top of the culvert and bolt it onto the wheel. A weather vane finished it off.

“Everybody that’s seen it just loves it,” Bolyard said. “In fact, a guy at my church went and built him one. Of course, his doesn’t look as good as mine.”

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Ashley Clary-Carpenter, field editor

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