Things of note – when getting an ekg or a stress test, I was stuck on a stretcher for about 8 hours straight. Do it again? thank you, no.
Off on a date to see Stardust – Double dated: Bhk and Me / Kendall & Adam. We all enjoyed it – a nice combination of humor, mild violence, and general purpose fairy tale.
Played 4 games of polarity with BHK – won 3 – Also won 1 game of martian coasters.
Center of hardware store’s quirky display is stolen
ATW Hardware and Supply owner Ted Kramer wipes a tear away from one of the ladies on his rooftop display. The figure known as The Man was recently stolen from the Edgewater store.
Ted Kramer is looking for a man. Not just any man, mind you, but “The Man.” The Edgewater hardware store owner has been having fun over the past three years arranging silly dioramas on the roof of his store starring a figure known as The Man.
Late last month someone made off with the mannequin.
So, with his typical humor, Mr. Kramer erected a missing child milk carton on his roof. “Have you seen me?” it asks.
“I put that up and in five minutes I saw someone pull into the parking lot, laughing,” he said.
Immediately after the July 27 heist he put up a simple, direct sign, “Return The Man Now.”
“I came up with the milk carton idea right away,” Mr. Kramer said from behind the counter at ATW Hardware and Supply, the company he and his father, Wayne Kramer, started 19 years ago. “But I thought if I put it up right away people would think I was kidding.”
He first had the idea of putting The Man up about two and a half years ago.
“I was tired of being the best known secret in Edgewater after 16 years in business,” Mr. Kramer said. “If nothing else I thought kids would enjoy it enough and say something to their parents about the place.”
The first incarnation was The Man simply holding a plunger.
“But that was around Easter. So I climbed up there and put some pink bunny ears on him and a basket in his hand,” he said gleefully.
“Since then the thing has kind of taken on a life of its own.”
Mr. Kramer has configured all sorts of wacky scenes on the roof of ATW, at the corner of Route 2 and Pike Ridge Road.
The business could be the only independent hardware business left in the area. The others long ago converted to True Value or Ace affiliation.
How else might he get away with The Man festooned with a giant plastic foam pumpkin head, holding a machete in one hand and a fake severed head in the other.
Or his favorite: “It was a Valentine’s Day theme. I took a boy figure and rigged him up with a bow and arrow like Cupid. And then a put an arrow in The Man’s neck and he was holding a female mannequin in his arms.” Ahh, romance.
He thought of another favorite after, well, enjoying a few refreshments after work. He took about a pile of the lower halves of mannequins and put all those legs up on the roof, perched every which way.
“Must have been a dozen of them I had more comments on that one,” he said.
It has become a creative outlet for him. “I get an idea. And I do it. I never do anything twice.”
He says he has to do something besides watch all the rows of bolts, pipe, tools and fittings sitting within the four walls of ATW Hardware.
If you miss the humor perched on the roof, a sign next to the door will give you a hint of the attitude within: “Stuff for Sale Here.”
He said customers suggest ideas for further adventures for The Man. “But they are all mine. I’m like a kid, I’m greedy. I’d be lying if I said I don’t get a kick out of doing this.”
After all, it is his playground. And he has a barn full of stuff, collected over years of going to auctions, to use for props.
Though the continuing adventures of The Man have been purely a lark, some say a hoot, the theft has tinted the high jinks with a serious tone.
A reward fund has been established, and Mr. Kramer is thinking of installing a security camera system to guard against future man-nappings.
“I don’t take anything seriously,” he said. But the theft and all the fuss could “turn all the fun sour.”
Even in the wake of the pilfered figure, though, there has been moments both light and touching, to hear the stories told.
“The police report was funny,” Mr. Kramer said. “The officer was in here asking questions like it was a kidnapping. ‘Weight? Age? What was he wearing?’”
Yesterday he added a couple of scantily clad lady mannequins next to the sign, and even posed on the roof, dabbing the tears of the “lady” who misses her man.
One of his regular customers was in the store a week or so ago and asked about a reward for The Man or finding whoever took it. Mr. Kramer told him he didn’t have one. With that the guy left his change on the counter – about $9 – and told him to start a fund.
A few days later a little girl came in with a can all set up for a reward fund. Her parents are customers. The white can sits next to the register, gathering change and a few bills. The money will be given to someone who provides information that leads to the conviction of the thief.
“A little boy came in with his parents and said he missed The Man,” Mr. Kramer said. “He said ‘It’s all my friends are talking about.’”
“You could tell the boy was distraught,” Phil George, an ATW employee said as he finished selling a $6.44 fitting, or bracket, or something to a customer.
Other customers in the area have also taken notice.
Kelly Keen, who lives in nearby Southdown Shores, saw that The Man was missing. Then the sign demanding his return.
And then the milk carton. She had to laugh.
“The store is not known for being the local hardware, as much as for – what’s The Man up to this week?” she said.
An elderly lady walked in, Mr. Kramer said, and told them how much her granddaughter loved The Man.
“She said, ‘It’s terrible what they did to The Man. My granddaughter does not know he is missing. It will break her heart.’”
For that and many other reasons, Mr. Kramer is likely to fashion another character to replace The Man.
“That is unless someone leaves him sitting by the door,” he said.
1 year ago
– bk’s bday, pink vs elo, telephone line, good stuff on the horizon, tony jay RIP, hushmail, Danny out, Britta, window box, peanuts meets peckinpah, reset xp admin password
2 years ago – spidey villains, jc vampire hunter, smog monster, 10 happy things, aurgasm, firefly, Robert Goulet
3 years ago – A little training trouble, lovely gifties, stormtrooper wedding.
4 years ago – Newtcam pic, me as a geisha, space pop, RIP Nick, ACIM interview, eats, tohru
5 years ago – Mac virus, got a play set, 25mm floorplans, Egyptian law, stickman down stairs, reparations
6 years ago – 51 things learned from playing champions (27 changed?), concinnity. Stuckey’s pecan log rolls, pac-man fevah
7 years ago – no thing (via Scotto’s Wall Scrawls)