Monday, February 27, 2012

What to Put Next to the Plastic Goose

For those old-time blog followers, you may recall my post concerning the battle of the tricked-out wheelchairs.  Every summer, the best engineering minds of the Chicago Fire Department are pitted against each other in a game of skill and speed.  Click here for full story.

Joe's firehouse reigned supreme this summer thanks in large part to Mike Rowan, a former airline pilot who  "just likes to build sh*t" (Joe's words).

So imagine my delight when I found an interesting picture posted on Facebook courtesy of Mike's wife, Eileen:

I cropped the picture to provide a close-up, but this masterpiece was lovingly placed right between a plastic goose and a backyard birdbath. 

That's right.  The guy built a Picasso.  For the backyard. 

Now being a naturally curious person, I had to get to the bottom of this.  I quickly emailed Eileen to gather the details.  She responded:

It started with a used welder and Mike wanting to learn how to use it.  He took leftover steel from when they made the grill at the firehouse and he just sort of ended up giving this a try. He has always been a fan of early 20th century avant garde Spanish artists and the cubism movement. I mean, who isn't?

That's right.  From a hand-me-down welder came a near-perfect minature Picasso statue.  Awesome.

Eileen added that her role consisted mostly of holding pieces of steel in place and donning a spare welding helmet.

Consider that statement for a moment, won't you?  This couple has 4 kids.  Think of all the work.  Think of the laundry.  Still, Eileen dropped her Tide bottle to support her husband's latest desire to "build sh*t."  And to top things off, he made sure an extra helmet was on hand to keep his lovely bride safe and sound.

I do believe this is a match made in heaven. 

If you are interested in your own backyard Picasso, please feel free to email Mike for details at:

I'm considering one myself.  Besides the funny looks I'd get from my neighbors, it could double as a towel-holder for the boys during the summer when they're running through the sprinklers.

Only in Beverly. 


  1. That whole tale was very thought provoking...and cool. The tea, winning the game, the love story, and now my trying to figure out if I need one of those!

  2. If you do decide to get one, don't forget your plastic goose.

  3. aaah....... that is a very sought after piece of art that folks will spend big bucks for. I think you might consider being his commissioned agent in marketing.

  4. I used to be good working with Silly Putty.

  5. did something to the look of your comment page. Us seniors don't like change. Now I'm confused.

  6. wait a minute....wait a comment page changed as well....WTF??

    All power to forward shields. Prepare to fire all weapons....Marianne, we're under attack.

  7. Andrea - thanks - and I think you totally need one.

    Skwishee - On it!

    SF - So what's my cut? 10% (;

    Maplewood - I'm rounding up the militia.