Rock County Courthouse office is home of The Grinch

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Catherine W. Idzerda
December 19, 2013

JANESVILLE—In the depths of the Rock County Courthouse,

past the vending machines and vaults,

lives a creature—actually, several—who hates Christmas a lot.


You know him by name,

you'd recognize his dog,

he's the guy who stole Christmas,

and the very last yule log.


In the purchasing office he lurks on the walls,

he covers the billboards, the shelves and the floor,

he's the Grinch who stole Christmas,

a guy Jodi Millis adores.


She's the  purchasing manager—has been for years,

and year-round her office is filled with Grinch cheer.

“I don't have a window,” she said with a grin,

“This is an old bomb shelter that I'm working in.”


Grinch ornaments! Grinch bobbleheads!

Grinch lunch boxes! Grinch tables and books!

Grinches for the icebox, the wall and the floor,

More Grinch figurines than a mall Disney store!


So what is it about Grinch,

What's his appeal?

Seuss said he was a cactus, a blot on all souls,

A creature who tied his dog to overloaded sled poles.


Millis loves him because his story goes to show,

that love is in everyone, including the crabby and sour,

love can transform people, even the surly and dour.


Then there are the memories from so long ago,

when she, her parents and siblings would curl up snug,

on the couch in the living room next the hearth and its rug.

Mom made hot cocoa, Dad was there, too. 

Their tree—white aluminum— was lit from below

with revolving lights giving it multi-colored glow.


The lamps were turned off,

and everyone was waiting to see

“The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”

on their big '70s TV.


It was a magical time, she realizes that now.

Her wonderful mom has been gone for years.

Dad lives near Las Vegas, where he never has to plow.


“I wouldn't want  to be a kid today,” Millis says.

It's too stressful, too busy, too fast for magic to be,

as powerful as long ago, around that white metal tree.


So she holds on to her memories and

her collection of Grinches, too.

Down in the basement of courthouse,

the magic shines through.

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