We went to the dump on Saturday, and one of the men who works there came up and said "hey, there's a Tin Man in your yard," as if we might not have known.
We nodded proudly, and said, yes, there a Tin Man in our yard. We said that a dairy farmer and artist named Ed Gulley made him, and he answered: "Ed Gulley? Lives over to White Creek?"
Yes, we said, that's the guy. In our town, there are some strange people (like us) but really not strangers.
The Tin Man has settled into our farm and our lives and he is fast becoming the way people know who we are. A friend called the other day seeking directions to the farm, he had something to drop off. "Come up past the McGeouch farm," I said, "and look for the Tin Man on the right. Can't miss it."
There was a silence on the other end. "The Tin Man?" Yup, I said, we have a Tin Man on the lawn.
People seem surprised and delighted to see a Tin Man on our lawn, and we are also surprised and delighted to see a Tin Man on our lawn. It startles us almost every day. Ed Gulley, the co-author of the Bejosh Farm Journal, who lives over to White Creek, is a genius in his own right, he grasped the emotional appeal of this much-loved movie character and the ways in which so many people identify with him.
We are thinking of moving him up closer to the road, but for the moment, he seems happy where he is.
Ed says he talked to the Tin Man all the time before selling him to me after a ferocious round of haggling. I haven't talked to him yet, but maybe that will happen soon.
It seems to me that the hearts of many people in our country are turning to stone these days, and I don't wish for me to be one of them. The Tin Man is a perfect symbol of Bedlam Farm now, and perhaps, for good.
And there is a great kick from telling people to drive past the McGeouch farm and look for the Tin Man on the lawn. How many people can say that?