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On Wednesday May 20, 2009 Cathy and I set out for a trip representing a Garfield collector's dream.
For Garfield’s 25th Birthday, 25 molded statues were created out of the same basic mold. Each one was commissioned mostly by not for profit organization to ultimately be a fund raiser. Each statue was painted and decorated appropriately to represent the organization that it was commissioned by.
At first all of the finished statues were displayed together. The original plan was to sell the statues on E-bay as a fund raiser. Due to a higher starting bid, most of the statues were not sold at auction.
After the 25th Birthday celebration the statues dispersed back into the community. Most returned to the organizations that commissioned them.
Six years later, Cathy and I did some leg work to find out if any were available for private sale.
The statue that we purchased was originally displayed in a public television station lobby but when the lobby was re-modeled it was put in storage. While on our Garfield trip in Indiana, we purchased the statue and drove it to our home to join its orange friends in our private collection. On the base of the statue is the name GAR’FRED’S NEIGHBORHOOD
It is a special feeling knowing that we are the custodian to a unique and one-of-a-kind piece of Garfield history.
On February 27, 2003 Public television celebrity, educator, and ordained Presbyterian Minister Mr. Fred Rogers, known for the Public Television show, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” passed away at the age of 74. Saddened by this news, the Muncie based Public Television station decided it was appropriate to decorate their statue in tribute to Mr. Rogers.
We visited some pretty special sites representing Garfield landmarks in the Muncie Indiana area. The area is close to where Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield grew up. His roots in the community led to the placement of several unique statues known as the “Garfield Trail”.
In one day Cathy and I visited and filmed these statues. The photos follow.
This Garfield statue is in front of the Fairmount Historical Museum. The Museum is primarily a tribute to James Dean but it also has a room devoted to Garfield and his creator Jim Davis.
With a stethoscope in one hand and ready to help the sick this Garfield statue welcomes visitors to the Marion General Hospital. Hopefully it is a short visit to the hospital because who wants to stay in a hospital?
Dressed up for the local High School Basketball team according to the Chronicle-Tribune.com reprinted article provided by the Marion / Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau the number 9 on his shirt represents “the number of overtimes in the record setting game against Liberty Center in 1964.”
This Garfield is standing in front of a train car in Sweetster. Decorated with old fashion baggage carts and suitcases it is reminiscent of the days the rails ruled the transportation world.
Garfield is holding popcorn since Van Buren is apparently the popcorn capital of the world. Dressed up like the Van Buren High School Aces, Garfield holds a globe in his right hand.
This statue shows off the comedy of Jim Davis with a cartoon fish in the net and a smile on his face. Behind him is the beautiful Cumberland Covered Bridge. The local creak is a boat launch site as well as a popular fishing spot.
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