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The Tom Cherry Experience

Friday, August 18, 2006

Distressed Frog


Once upon a time there was a giant frog that sat in front of a carpet store in Muncie, Indiana. It remained in place for over three decades and became a familiar landmark in America's Hometown. Sadly, time took its toll on the frog and it gradually fell into decay. The carpet store then went out of business and the new owner of the property had no need for a happy-go-lucky, concrete frog. An attempt to move the frog to a new location sadly ended in disaster. The green behemoth couldn't take the strain and it simply fell apart. An era had ended.

However, the story doesn't end there.

I took some pictures of the frog about a month before its demise. I wanted to blog about some of Muncie's unique landmarks and I thought the frog was the perfect candidate. Then I read in the paper about the frog's uncertain fate and the effort to try to save it. A couple days before the frog was to be moved, I e-mailed my pictures to Bill Griffith, the cartoonist behind Zippy the Pinhead. In the strip, Zippy would often travel about America, conversing with any roadside attraction that came his way so I thought the frog might be of interest to Zippy and to his creator.

The very next morning, I got an e-mail from Mr. Griffith. He was going to use the frog! And, true to his word, he mailed me a copy of strip that featured the frog one week later. I was very happy when I opened the envelope and saw the strip. Despite falling to pieces, the frog lives on in Zippy's world, a heaven of sorts for all roadside attractions. Maybe not a bad ending for a giant frog after all.

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