Gumby’s Gone, Dammit!

In today’s online version of The Delaware News Journal, there was report of Arden metal sculptor Phil Fisher, who had a steel sculpture of “Gumby” stolen from his driveway.   Click for Video.

I had heard of Phil through a mutual friend, “Teach” from Arden, years ago.

Teach told me that since I was a welder of 30+ years, that I should meet Phil Fisher, that I’d really like him.

I thought that if the opportunity arose, that I would like to swap stories with Phil.

A year or so had gone by and I hadn’t met Phil, but I had many times driven by, or ridden the motorcycle by his house, and he would always have one steel sculpture or another displayed at the end of his driveway, and would alternate object shapes and designs from the abstract to the tangible as his mood dictated.

I finally had the good fortune to meet Phil at the Arden Fair at Teach’s house adjacent to the park, where an annual, impromptu, bar-b-que was held for all of Teach’s friends and acquaintances that rode motorcycles, as they could ride to the Arden Fair and park in his yard.

His friends that didn’t ride motorcycles were more than welcome to park their cars on Marsh Road and walk down to the Arden Fair, stop in at Teach’s, and say hello on their way into the fair.

Phil and I jabbered, joked, and talked at great length about welding and motorcycles for quite a while.

He told me of job he had gotten to build a gate for the new baseball field off of Naamans Road and how he envisioned himself planning to incorporate large steel scrollwork into the gate to give a little pizzazz.

Of course Teach was right, Phil was a solid guy.

Whenever I’d see him around, he would always come up to me and have something to say, even if it was just to ask how I was doing.

He had finally gotten to the point where he could retire from his full time job, and concentrate on his projects and whatever small repair work or fabrication would come his way.

He took the leap and bought a brand new, pearl white, Harley-Davidson FXWG Wide Glide.

He was in his glory.

It is great to witness someone do the things they do because they enjoy them, and reap the fruits of that labor to reward themselves.

Phil is an easy going, laid back man, as the News Journal article portrayed him.

He was quoted as saying that he has offered a $100 reward, and will not press charges if Gumby is returned.

“If they were to return it and talk to me, I will not file charges.”

“If they do that, it shows me that they are man about it.”

I ran into Phil last fall as I was leaving Chico’s Crows Nest Tattoo Studio.

He and Chico had taken their motorcycles out to Sturgis, South Dakota to the annual motorcycle rally held there every August since 1938.

Chico told me that it was Phil’s first time in Sturgis and that he without a doubt enjoyed himself so much that on the return trip, Phil thanked Chico endlessly, over and over, for taking him out there with him, and is looking forward to going again in August of 2011.

I hope that Phil gets Gumby back and has the chance to meet the doer of this juvenile deed, dammit!

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