(You knew I'd find something fun to make sure our motorhomin'-road-trippin'-campsite had some fun touches.)
I knew I wanted to get a pair of these little cuties as soon as Ralph got his motorhome, and surprisingly, once I decided to get them, I started seeing them everywhere online. Some of them are more creatively painted, and some without any yellow touches, and there were quite a few different shades of pink out there as well.
I ended up finding mine at World Market, and once I got them home, I decided to google up the history of the pink flamingo yard ornament. It turns out that back in 1957, a sculptor named Don Featherstone was hired by a Minnesota plastics company to create three dimensional lawn ornaments, and the pink flamingo was his second assignment. Being in Minnesota, he had never even laid eyes on a flamingo, and he had to use a National Geographic book to study photos of the long necked birds. Selling for less than three dollars a pair, they were an instant hit, winning America's hearts, and lawns.
As the 1960's progressed, America began to like more...well...natural looking yard decor, and for a while the pink flamingo yard art fell from grace. It has come back in a big way, with so many of us (me included.) loving the cool retro vibe.
My own personal relationship with pink flamingos goes back to the late 80's, when we moved our young family to the biggest little city from northern California. We bought our first home in a neighborhood of other young families, and long story getting longer, my then-husband purchased a single pink flamingo on a trip to the nearby ShopKo store. He brought it home, and during the warm spring and summer evenings, the flamingo would be there, stuck in someone's lawn, and then the entire neighborhood would know that this would be where we would gather that evening to visit and watch the kids play. As the Dad's were arriving home from work, that hot pink bird would appear on a lawn, and we'd all end up meandering to that house. At the end of the evening, someone would grab it and take it home, to place it in their yard the next evening. It's one of my fondest memories of that time of my life, raising our kids in what felt like small town America after living all my life in the crowded bay area.
I can hardly wait to go camping again, and break those sweet birds out of their box, and plop them into the dirt in our campsite, adding some cheerful whimsey.
God bless you, Don Featherstone.