You might also like

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Goose proliferation

I met a concrete goose back in the 1990’s, at my friend Linda’s home in New York.  I’d seen a lot of them on front stoops, but never met one face to face.  These were geese of substance back then.  Concrete, as I’ve mentioned; they moved about on hand trucks.  They were part of a silly wave of decorating that involved lots of cutesy and even more fussy. 

Yard ornaments go tastefully back in history as statuary, but in the Midwest escalated to pink flamingos, yard jockeys and bath tub shrines.  I’ve lived next door to a yard jockey for more than twenty years.  Concrete statuary is a relatively inexpensive substitute for granite or marble, whimsical to garish and available along country roadsides.  I’ve lived up the road for more than twenty years to a family that pours concrete figures and has them for sale.  I’ve even shopped there with Ann for a tasteful bench and bird bath to memorialize one of their memorable dogs.   She’s still looking for the naked cherub filling the pond.  That may be one step up from concrete.

In a burst of American entrepreneurism, sales of concrete geese moved from back country roads to streets around art shows.  A secondary industry sprang up, making clothing for the concrete geese.  With little fanfare the geese waddled east and west, north and south, followed by the garment sewers.  Only in America could there be a market for a cottage industry sewing goose clothes. Then I met Linda’s Goose.  Goose clothes went on my radar and I could send Ann or Beth twenty blocks out, to the craft show, to bring home goose clothes.  And giant bubble makers for my grandchildren.  

I’ve told a couple amusing stories about Linda’s Goose, and she called me and told me the rest of the story.  Actually, there is another Goose.  Maybelle’s Goose.  Maybelle is Linda’s BFF.  Maybelle changed her name from Mabel so her mother, Mabel, wouldn’t open her mail.  Oh, what I know about Maybelle.  But it’s enough for you to know she must be Linda’s BFF.

Linda lived in central New York State between living in Ohio twice, not too far from Maybelle.  Linda and her husband were driving to a show and just before arriving, there were the geese.  Linda decided Maybelle needed one of those for the cottage at the lake.  So, they stopped and bought Maybelle a big concrete goose.  Because it was the lake, they added some rain gear.

The next weekend Linda was so envious of Maybelle’s goose, she stopped for another one for her back stoop in New York.  The impetus for this industry should now be obvious; it feeds on itself.  You can just hear the men in the back room:  Pour more geese, Jack.  We need to keep up with the demand.  And, when they go home at night:  Make more goose clothes, dear.  There’s quite a market.

When Maybelle’s son was married at the cottage at the lake, Maybelle’s goose wore a rose with her lace.




12 comments:

  1. We pass a dressed goose here nearly every day. I confess to a love of garden ornaments. In fact just one hour ago I installed a broken terracotta birdbath top around a flower just for giggles. I may be bordering on getting tacky but I like my garden junk probably as much as people like to dress their geese. hugs, Olive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or as much as we like to dress other peoples' geese.

      Delete
  2. We just put our concrete rabbit out today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dear. We make the lamb, the pig and the toad stay out all winter.

      Delete
  3. We don't have a goose ornament, although we do have a naked boy holding a bird in his hand. He and a naked lady bird bath came with the house. The naked boy is pure white and his nose, one of his ears, a part of the bird in his hand...and um...ok...the tip of his penis has also fallen off. The long winters on the prairie are not conducive to protecting lawn ornaments.

    We also had two gnomes in our front yard that came with the house. They were stolen a few years ago and later, a friend's daughter who is in high school, told me that there was a "gnome sanctuary" in a small wooded area outside of the city where kids brought stolen gnomes to live. We drove out to it one day and were astounded...there must have been 500 gnomes just standing all together in a woodsy clearing. I thought I spotted ours, but decided to leave them there. They looked so...um....happy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My goose is naked; I like him like that. However, if I could find a tutu......

    ReplyDelete
  5. Joanne failed to mention that the goose clothes she send her daughter and others to find at "art Shows" were not actually part of the show and located on outlying show areas. They are NOT CHEAP,hence I wait for friends to dress my goose..The lady up my street who would bring her granddaughter down to see what the goose was wearing, was surprised at Halloween to find the goose dressed as a Holstein Cow...My response was, "that is who she wanted to be for Halloween"..simple, simple and hope to remain so...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hmmmmmmmm . . . maube I need a goose.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We don't seem to get concrete geese here. Lizards yes, but I cannot recall seeing a goose. There is (sadly) a market for flamingoes made from tortured tyres spray painted white. Truly ugly, truly tacky.
    Your geese on the other hand have class. And charm. Thanks, another post to love.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In my neck of the woods we mainly have concrete native animals, birds, religious statues and oodles of pesky Knomes, but no geese :-).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have seen goose outfits for sale a in a catalog I used to get. They are really cute but what a commitment to have to keep going outside to change your goose! I have three cats who never need clothing changes so I'll stick with that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had never heard of a concrete goose until I saw your post. I think they're adorable. But I don't think I'd ever get one past the censor board (Husby).

    ReplyDelete