The opinions and viewpoints in this feature are solely those of this website's owner,
and not necessarily those of any other involved in the Save Fairyland campaign, unless otherwise indicated.
 

Save Fairyland! is a local effort initiated by Tampa Natives Show host
Mario Nuñez and joined by Rotary's Camp Florida Resource Development Director
Brenda Piniella Rouse, along with concerned Tampa natives, Tampa citizens--both former and present, and friends, to acquire, restore and relocate the beloved storybook character figures of Tampa's  Lowry Park Fairyland for public display.

Saving Fairyland  -  Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5

Lowry Park/Fairyland History    Herman - King of the Zoo     Safety Village      Fantasia Golf

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Brenda's update on Dec. 29th, 2016 in the Save Fairyland! group had produced four comments as of Jan. 4, 2017.

 

 

 


Mario commented shortly after she posted, reinforcing Brenda's plea for support.  It was followed by a reply asking for a link to our Go Fund Me page, which Mario provided.



On Jan. 1, Linda Hope considered the idea that the bidding might start with the going rate of salvage per pound.

Brenda replied shortly thereafter providing more detail about the auction, stating that they were not being sold by the pound.

Linda Godfrey Napier, whose father helped create the original figures in 1958, reaffirms that they are heavy.


Mario replied to another request for the location of our Go Fund Me page on Jan. 4.



 

Then, on Jan. 4, 2017, at 8:58pm, Nikki Chandler Couture finally said what was on the minds of so many Save Fairyland supporters, and she tagged Richard with the comment. (She edited the post on Jan 5, 8:33am to correct punctuation.)


About 15 minutes later, Richard responded to the tagged comment. 
Oh no!  I need to attend the auction!...


 

Four minutes later, Brenda jumped in.

Richard's comment produced 17 replies and many more comments.

 

 

 

 

Richard responded to Brenda's question; mentioning his earlier conversation with Mario in 2013.

 




 


Mario commented in secret code to Richard - "If you can, call my cell today before 1pm."  Spoken in Spanglish like a true Tampeño.

Fairyland fans have a new hope!


The Save Fairyland Go Fund Me campaign collected its 2nd highest daily total the day R.G. announced his participation in the auction, and it's best day yet the next day after the word spread on Facebook, for a 2-day total of $585.

 

  2017-Jan. 6 - Richard Gonzmart went to the city lot to view the character figures for the first time
 


Just a small sample from 274 comments to these photos.

 


"The Three Little Pigs meet Rusty and Rex, the two kind wolves" --RG

 

 

Richard Gonzmart, a son of Cesar Gonzmart & Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, has a fervent love for Tampa.  Foremost is his love of family and Tampa's history and heritage.   Keeping memories alive of places he spent the years of his childhood and early youth in Tampa are important concerns for him.   Recently, he had the old, abandoned Tampa Waterworks building on the Ulele Spring (f.k.a. Magbee Spring) beautifully restored and converted into Ulele (pronounced You-lay-lee) Restaurant.  Ulele celebrates the vibrant fusion of ingredients from Florida waters and land once home to many Native Americans, including the young princess Ulele. It's beautifully situated North end of Tampa's Riverwalk, just south of where the Hillsborough River makes a sharp 90 to the left as the waters flow toward Hillsborough Bay.

 

  More recently, Richard turned his sights on reviving a long-time Tampa institution, the iconic Goody Goody restaurant, which was founded in Tampa in 1925 as a BBQ sandwich stand on Grand Central Ave. (now Kennedy Blvd.) and operated at 1119 N. Florida Ave. for 75 years until it closed in 2005 and was soon demolished. For 11 years, it remained in the hearts and minds of Tampans as a place where one could have a great "Goody Goody burger P.O.X.," (short order cook notation for pickles, onions, secret sauce), a delicious real ice-cream milkshake, and a slice of Yvonne Freeman's mouthwatering homemade pies.  The new Goody Goody, a beefed-up supercharged version of the old one, but still maintaining the nostalgic appeal and many recipes of it's predecessor, opened with much hoopla and fanfare in Hyde Park Village on Swann Ave. in August of 2016.  The hoopla and fanfare has NOT subsided to this day.

 


2017-Jan.  7 - Dan redesigned the Save Fairyland group photo using "Field of Dreams" theme
"IF WE BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME"
by using the Rainbow Bridge (with transparency) and image of Mary Lang Salario's daughter, Katie, holding a Little Pig's hand from a photo Mary submitted to the group.

 

 

2017-Jan. 8 Gonzmart May Rescue Fairyland - Fox 13 Lloyd Sowers story with photos

TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tampa Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he plans to save the storybook characters from Tampa's old Fairyland children's park.

 

 

 

The life-size characters, including Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, and Snow White stood through five decades at Lowry Park beginning in the 1950's. They were taken down in the mid 1990's, but squirreled away by a city worker.

 

Mayor Bob Buckhorn says the city doesn't want the statues. Some are in disrepair. They're scheduled to be auctioned off Saturday, January 14th at Manheim Auctions. But Gonzmart says if he can't convince the city to keep them, he'll buy them. "I will be there at the auction," he says. "Some of them can't be repaired, but there are a lot of people who want to help me. I want to make them available free for families to come and see them," he says.  Gonzmart says he remembers going to Fairyland with his grandparents.

 

 

2017-Jan. 8 - Dan redesigned the Save Fairyland group photo by adding the remaining two little pigs from two separate photos and reduced transparency of the Rainbow bridge.

2017-01-09 After reviving Goody Goody, Gonzmart sets sights on Fairyland park  

Tampa Bay Times Paul Guzzo

TAMPA — Among Richard Gonzmart's fondest childhood memories are playing at nursery rhyme-inspired Fairyland park then heading over to Goody Goody Burger for dinner.

Fairyland was razed in 1996. Goody Goody closed in 2005.

But Gonzmart, the prominent local restaurant owner, wishes every Tampa child could enjoy the daylong experience he remembers, so he's working to bring it back.

First, he purchased the rights to the Goody Goody name and last summer in Hyde Park re-opened the burger joint originally established downtown in 1925. Now, he's planning to bid on the life-sized concrete and fiberglass nursery rhyme figures that once populated the 15-acre North Tampa park known as Fairyland.

The city of Tampa will auction the figures Saturday and Gonzmart hopes to walk away with them. He would restore them and place them at his Ulele Restaurant and Brewery in Waterworks Park along the Tampa Riverwalk.

Goody Goody photo by TampaPix; not part of the article

 

"My phone rings with the theme from Andy Griffith," said Gonzmart, 63, whose family also owns the 102-year-old Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. "Call me nostalgic or a romantic fool, but I miss that time when things were more wholesome. I want to bring some of that back."

The sale will be held at 10 a.m. at the Manheim auction house, 401 S 50th St.  The figures depict a number of individual fairy tales and will be offered for sale by story. The statues will not be present. Any bidder interested in a preview can call Manheim at (800) 622-7292.

Fairyland was built in the 1950s as a free complement to Lowry Park Zoo.  Nursery rhyme music would play throughout the attraction and the characters lined a winding path.  Rapunzel peered out of the tower that held her captive. The big bad spider looked down on Little Miss Muffet. Children could climb Jack's beanstalk.

"This was before iPads," Gonzmart said. "Kids used their imaginations to play and Fairyland was a great place for that."

The park was dismantled to make way for a larger zoo. The statues now sit outside a city warehouse near MacDill Air Force Base. Some have not survived the years. The Three Little Pigs story is missing the brick house, though the houses of straw and sticks remain intact. Others are in poor shape. Sleeping Beauty's face is caved in.

"They'll have to be restored," Gonzmart said. "We'll get it done." This is welcome news to Mario Nunez, host of the TV history program The Tampa Natives Show.  When Nunez learned of the auction, he spearheaded a fundraising effort to purchase and restore the statues then find a home for them.

Someone tagged Gonzmart on a Facebook post about Nunez's plan and that piqued the interest of the restaurateur.  Nunez raised nearly $2,000 but will not try to outbid Gonzmart. "When the cavalry shows up, you step aside and let them lead," Nunez said. "Richard Gonzmart is the right person for this job.

In the spirit of the original Fairyland, there would be no charge to enjoy the statues if Gonzmart comes away with them.  "They will be part of the Riverwalk for generations to enjoy again," Gonzmart said. "That's how it should be."

Contact Paul Guzzo at pguzzo@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3394. Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

2017-Jan. 10 - Dan redesigned the Save Fairyland group photo with email address & adjusted 3 Little Pigs upward.


2017-01-10 Manheim Tampa made an announcement on their Facebook page along with the image of the City's auction announcement flyer.

Lowry Park Figurine Sale. January 14th at 10 a.m. - here at Manheim Tampa. Cash, Certified Cashiers Check or Money Orders Accepted. Open to the Public.

1. Humpty Dumpty
2. Hickory Dickory Dock
3. Little Boy Blue
4. Mary Had A Little Lamb
5. Little Miss Muffet
6. Snow White
7. 3 Little Pigs
8. Jack and The Bean Stalk
9. Cinderella in coach
10. Cinderella and Rags
11. Cinderella and Prince
12. Miscellaneous Lot; camel, elephant, fairy, snake, mushrooms.

 

 

2017-Jan. 10 Anneliese Meier posted her response to Paul Guzzo's Tampa Bay Times article at the Save Fairyland group

My letter to the Editor in response to today's article:

 

Dear Editor,
     Why is it taking a man, who loves Tampa and its history, to come in and try to save the day when the City should not be putting these Fairyland statues on the auction block in the first place?
     I only wish your reporter had dug a bit deeper into this story to reveal how the City of Tampa advertised these statues as "Historical" and "a Tampa Landmark for 50 years", yet did not let the Historic Preservation Board have any say in the matter. Or how the procurement department would not release any information under a public records request until the City attorney was asked to check into the matter?
     Yes, the figurines are old and need work, but they represent a significant time of civic growth in Tampa lead by Mayor Nick Nuccio. Tampa was coming out of the darkness of war in the late 50's and we had a Mayor who knew that public spaces were important to growth. These figurines were part a free attraction that was enjoyed by all the residents of this town, including the working class, the backbone of Tampa, which was my family.
     The City of Tampa has let far too many historical landmarks (buildings, sites, objects) be torn down or disposed of. It is time to put more teeth in Historical Preservation City Code Section 27. The current Mayor thinks these figurines are junk and does not want them near his $35 million Riverfront Park, but I guarantee you, children will love them, tourists will look for them, and families will visit wherever they end up. They need to taken off the auction block.
 

2017-Jan. 11 - Mario commented on Anneliese's post
FULL DISCLOSURE
: I will NOT be attending Thursday's City Council meeting. We have done all we can do at this point. The City Council is unable to pressure the mayor to do anything. The mayor holds all the cards. We do have Mr. Richard Gonzmart with us now and that helps to level the playing field . For all the right reasons we will prevail in this mission to Save Fairyland. Let's all be ready to roll up our sleeves and go to work restoring and refurbishing these wonderful reminders of our youth. In the meantime you can help by offering a donation. We are oh so close to realizing our fundraising goal. On behalf of Humpty Dumpty and all his Friends - THANK YOU! https://www.gofundme.com/save-fairyland

 
2017-Jan. 13 - Ulele Restaurant posted an announcement regarding Richard attending auction.

The man who makes dreams (including his own) come true, Richard Gonzmart, tomorrow hopes to move a step closer to realizing a more recent one at a city-authorized auction. The fourth-generation caretaker plans to bid on the life-sized concrete and fiberglass nursery rhyme figures that once populated Fairyland, a North Tampa park near Lowry Park Zoo.

If successful, he would restore the once-beloved characters and place them at his Ulele Restaurant next to Water Works Park Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk. Gonzmart last year re-imagined the Goody Goody Burgers restaurant that opened in 1925 and closed in 2005. Re-imagined and reopened, the restaurant now serves breakfast lunch and dinner in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village. After this weekend, Gonzmart might just have saved another Tampa icon.

(Photo at right courtesy of Ulele Restaurant on Facebook)

..


Photo by TampaPix



Manheim Tampa, January 14, 2017
Photos by TampaPix

 


Manheim graciously set up a complimentary Continental breakfast
 

 

The Fairyland character figures were not present at Manheim.  Instead, these 12 frames on easels displayed photos of the contents of each lot.  Among the early arrivals were these two men, who turned out to be our only real competition.
 

 

 

Run #700
Humpty Dumpty

Run #701
Hickory Dickory Dock

Run #703
Little Boy Blue

Run #704
Mary Had A Little Lamb

 

It is not known why they skipped #702
 

 

Run #705
Little Miss Muffet

Run #706
Snow White

Run #707
Three Little Pigs

Run #708
Jack & Bean Stalk

 
 

Run #709
Cinderella & Carriage
Run #710
Cinderella in Rags
Run #711
Cinderella & Prince
Run #712
Misc.

In an interview with Sara Belsole of Bay News 9, Nichole Schall said, “To own a piece of the Tampanian [sic] history would just be amazing for us."
 

Richard arrived with Rex, and filled out the necessary forms to bid.

Brenda Piniella-Rouse greeting Richard.

Sara Belsole of Bay News 9 having fun interviewing Richard.


Sara Belsole of Bay News 9 having fun interviewing Richard.

 

Richard telling Sara about his Fairyland memories and what he wants to accomplish in acquiring the storybook character figures.

   

The ever-present Michael Kilgore, Columbia Restaurant Group CMO and Richard's "Right-Hand Man" for all things public.
 

Tampa Natives Show host and discoverer of the Fairyland storybook character figures, Mario Nuñez

Sara Belsole of Bay News 9 getting an earful from Mario.

Mario brought Sara Belsole of Bay News 9 up to speed on how this debacle has reached this point.

   

Susan Gifford showing Brenda photos of one of the Fairyland Little Pigs figures she acquired many years ago.

Susan Gifford shows a photo of one of the Fairyland Little Pigs figures she acquired many years ago. She bought it from a local business that was using it as a rooftop display.

   

Michael Kilgore pointing out a detail of Hickory Dickory Dock.

Brenda Piniella-Rouse in discussion with Richard Gonzmart

Dan brought a printed version of the Save Fairyland group photo, in anticipation of presenting to Richard after winning the auction.

Richard and Michael sizing up the prizes.

Richard in a moment of solitude with Rex, preparing himself for whatever may come.
 

Auction photos by
   

Several bidders were present, although only one presented a challenge to attaining our goal.
Three Manheim representatives worked the auction; this man was the audio/visual technician and probably also monitored any phone bidding.
   
The bidding began on the first lot, Run #700 Humpty Dumpty.
The bidding opened at $1,000 and increased in $100 to $1,000 increments.  The Save Fairyland group members were stunned at the opening bidding amounts.
The only real competition Richard had in the bidding was unresponsive to acknowledge Richard and oblivious as to whom he was dealing with.  Manheim would not disclose the identity of the bidders, but Google was not so privacy-conscious.
 It was later determined that "The Tiger Man" was Randy Stearns, president of Dade City's "Wild Things," and wildlife and survival expert of a Zoo and Rescue attraction in Pasco County.
   
   
Richard was determined to acquire all of the figures, except for the last "misc." lot.
This man was the "Bid-spotter" so it seemed.
   
Tiger Man consulted with his "partner" often, and would usually raise the bid by $1,000 until it was out of his league.
The auctioneer babbled on, each time ending with
"Sold, number 44."
   
Richard raising the bid, once again.
Richard feigned lack of interest in lot #710 and the auctioneer replied with "The dog likes it!"
 
It was the determined Jesuit Tiger of Tampa vs. the
Dade City Tiger Man.
Each time, the Jesuit Tiger of Tampa came out on top.
   
   

Richard didn't bid on the miscellaneous lot which went to Angela Baylis of Forest Hills, thus ensuring all of Fairyland would remain in Tampa.  Tiger Man bid against her too, but gave up at $1,600. Angela is an active member of the Save Fairyland group and plans to do a little restoration on them and display them in her back yard.

         

           
 

 

Listen to Mario Nuñez as he describes the scene with disbelief for what the bidding went up to.

This is a disgrace, THIS, is a DISGRRRRACE!

 

 

 

Auction videos by

 

This video starts with lot #701 being sold to "number 44" (Richard) for $2,200.

 
 
 

Mario congratulates and thanks Richard for rescuing Fairyland.

Richard's winning number 0044 tag.

Mario signing the poster Brenda and Dan signed and gave to Richard after the auction.

Maria Williams Trippe and Mario.  Maria's dad owned the iconic National Auto Supermarket of which Tampa Natives all fondly remember the commercials.

   


Fairyland Rescued!
Photo by Sally Nuñez

 

 

2017-01-14 Gonzmart spends $28K in bidding war for Fairyland figures, hopes to display them on Riverwalk

By Sara DiNatale, Times Staff Writer 

TAMPA — A nostalgic Tampa restaurant owner spent nearly $30,000 on Saturday to preserve his most cherished childhood memories by buying nearly every fiberglass figure left from the Lowry Park Zoo’s old Fairyland park.  No one at the Manheim auction house expected them to cost that much. Not even the day’s star, Richard Gonzmart, 63. “You can’t put a price on history,” Gonzmart said after the bidding wars ended. “I wanted to save the figures and keep them together.”

In total, Gonzmart spent $28,300 on 11 fairy-tale scenes from the park that dazzled children when it opened in the 1950s. The only lot he didn’t buy was a group of miscellaneous figures and pieces that didn’t make up a complete scene or fairy tale.

Gonzmart came to the auction house on Saturday morning with a mission. He had already pledged to buy the figures with plans to restore and display them for free. He hopes the city will let him put them along the Riverwalk once they’re restored.

If not, they will sit near the Riverwalk’s end in the grassy areas around his restaurant, Ulele.  Gonzmart already reopened Hyde Park favorite Goody Goody last year after it closed in 2005. Fairyland was razed in 1996 and its storybook figures were left to rot in a city warehouse near MacDill Air Force Base. In the fall, the city said it would auction them off.

Most of the two dozen people at the auction house Saturday morning supported Gonzmart’s plan. But two men unknown to most attendees gave Gonzmart a run, upping costs to several thousand dollars during a heated back-and-forth series of bids.  Those men bolted after the auction’s end, and auction officials would not release their names.
 


Mario Nuñez of the Tampa Natives Show and Dan Perez of TampaPix congratulate and thank Richard for his heroic effort to rescue the Fairyland storybook character figures.  (Tampa Bay Times photo)

 


Richard being interviewed by Sara DiNatale, after the auction.

Humpty Dumpty
Hickory Dickory Dock

Little Boy Blue

Little Miss Muffet

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Snow White

The Three Little Pigs

Jack and the Beanstalk

Cinderella in coach

Cinderella's rag scene

Cinderella's prince scene

Total

$   3,000

$   2,100

$   1,300

$   1,200

$   1,300

$   2,000

$   2,000

$   5,000

$   8,000

$   1,000

$   1,400

$28,300

After Gonzmart outbid the pair for the Little Boy Blue scene at $1,300, a man in the crowd called out, “You’re not going to beat him today.” He was right. Gonzmart didn’t back down when Jack and the Beanstalk hit $5,000 or Cinderella’s carriage scene made it to $8,000.  “Money means nothing,” Gonzmart said. Mario Núñez, host of the Tampa Natives Show on local cable television, came to the auction as spectator. He had hoped the city would give the figures to local historians eager to restore them, but stood behind Gonzmart’s plan. “This is our legacy,” he said. “This is our history ... this was a magical place.”

Gonzmart teared up thinking of the days he would walk the 15-acre park as a child with his grandparents, going from fairy tale to fairy tale. He said that when he looked at the figures, he could feel his grandparents still alive. “I hope my grandkids can look back on them and think about their crazy grandfather,” he said. “It was never about the money.”

Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

 

 

 

2017-01-14 Tampa restaurateur buys Fairyland figures at auction
Bay News 9 By Sara Belsole, Reporter

TAMPA -- The iconic Fairyland figures built in the 1950’s at Lowry Park Zoo will soon have a new home.

  • Restaurateur Richard Gonzmart bid successfully on 11 Fairyland figures

  • Figures will be restored, placed in Ulele Restaurant in Tampa

  • Gonzmart spent almost $29,000 on the figures


The pieces, absent from the zoo since their removal in 1996, were up for auction at Manheim Auction House Saturday.

"I grew up in Tampa in the 70’s and my folks used to take me to Lowry Park Zoo and I have such fond memories of Fairyland,” bidder Nichole Schall said. “To own a piece of the Tampanian history would just be amazing for us."


Restaurateur Richard Gonzmart (left) held the winning bid on 11 Fairyland figures up for auction January 14 at Manheim Auction House Saturday. (Bay News 9 photo)


Schall had stiff competition among the day's bidders, however. TV history show "The Tampa Native Show" first learned of the auction and launched a fundraising campaign to purchase them. “Before the mouse in Orlando—before Disney—this was our Disney World,” host Mario Nuñez said.

Restaurateur Richard Gonzmart also came to the auction with the hopes of bringing home these pieces of Tampa's history. In fact, he was out to bring them all home. "This takes me back to my childhood when my grandparents would take me there and birthday parties were celebrated at Fairyland,” Gonzmart said. “You go over that bridge, the rainbow bridge and you went to that place where your imagination would roam."

A Facebook post about the auction caught Gonzmart’s attention, and Nuñez said they were happy to step aside. “He is an angel,” Nuñez said. “He’s got a heart bigger than most people can imagine.”

Gonzmart is no stranger to restoring Tampa classics. He recently re-opened Goody Goody, which was originally established in the 1920’s. He said he hopes to restore the figures and place them at his Ulele Restaurant along the Tampa Riverwalk.

At the auction, Gonzmart had to outbid a few bidders to get his hands on 11 of the figures. The Cinderella figurine sold for the most: $8,000. "I couldn't have slept tonight if I let it go because a $100, $200,” Gonzmart said.
Gonzmart spent almost $29,000 on the figures. He did not bid on the miscellaneous lot, which sold to another bidder for $1550.

“This is about preserving it for future generations," said Gonzmart. "This is history. There’s no price on history."
 

 

 

   2017-Jan. 14 - Richard announced the auction results on his Facebook page, causing a flood of comments.

To say that Richard's good deed produced a flood of comments in Biblical proportions would be an understatement. Hundreds of comments were made on pages such as Tampa Natives, and the Save Fairyland group, as well as Goody Goody's and Ulele's Facebook pages, and last, if not the most, on Richard's own personal page.

   
The vast majority of comments were in praise of Richard, but quite a few expressed disdain for the city's attitude, namely, that of the mayor, for his reference to the group's "grand ideas".  Some comments were made in words, some were made in graphics, some were just a bit too extreme and were removed. 

These two were posted by Mike Stone on Jan. 14 and 16.


2017-Jan. 14 - The ever-outspoken Fran Constantino:

2017-Jan 5 - This one from Ben Crumpton->

 



"My suggestion to those with all these grand ideas is go to the auction and bid on them. If they win the auction, then fine, they can do whatever they want with them, but we don't want them." - Bob Buckhorn

"That's why they've been sitting on the junk pile for 25 years." - Bob Buckhorn


 2017-Jan 16 - I took the opportunity to stir the pot at City Hall, along with a poem...

Humpty Dumpty was at City Hall,
Somebody gave the mayor a call,
"He's nothing but junk," Bad Bob did say,
"We'll sell him at auction, Tampa natives will pay."


Old Spearman exclaimed,
Just doing my job.
No matter if Tampa's history we rob.
We must do it this way,
there's no room for barter.
Bob picks when he chooses
to break city charter.

So Humpty and friends were put up for a ransom.
Advertised by the city
in brochures quite so handsome.
But the people united
and the troops they did call,
In hope they could prevent Humpty's great fall.

So all over Tampa
the cause was made clear,
To unite in a rescue,
and allay our great fear.

Then from over the rainbow, Shining Knight did appear,
To win back our history and mem'ries held dear!


If you like your history, you can keep your history. But it's gonna cost you.

2017-Jan 16 - Marilyn Favata Messina was also inspired to write this epic ode:

   
There once was a Mayor who didn’t care
About saving the history of a city so fair.
Plans to preserve the past were tossed aside
As he responded with remarks considered snide.

“To heck with the opinions of the people.
Their efforts are weak; their actions are feeble.
We’ll sell the History; we’ll sell the past.
Tradition is moot; we can start fresh at last.”

The sale was planned; the location was set.
The Mayor wondered how much the auction would net.
But the people spoke; and the people did care.
They knew what was happening wasn’t fair.
On the morning of the auction a hero did appear.
He did not waiver; he did not show fear.
Who was this man who stepped up to the plate?
He showed up early and planned to stay late.

A man of the people with a heart of gold
His bids were strong; his actions bold.
Because of him, our History will still live.
We owe him all the thanks this city can give.

We hope the Mayor knows not to cast us aside.
We all are here for more than just the ride.
Doesn't he realize to achieve higher power
The voters hold the key to the Ivory Tower?


Many thanks to Richard Gonzmart for his successful efforts in keeping the statues local!

 

   2017-Jan 14 - The 2nd issue of the Tampa Pix Times  was published at the Save Fairyland group.

            
Sir Richard of Gonzmart was created from this TampaPix photo taken in March, 2009 at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa.
This member of the "New Riders of the Golden Age" from Warhorse Productions is "Sir Victor Thorn."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-Jan. 14 and 15 - On auction day, a second-best high of $350 was donated to the Save Fairyland Go Fund Me campaign, with $210 donated the following day, for a total of $560 in two days.

 

2017-Jan. 15 - Richard posted on Instagram and Facebook, "None of us is as strong as all of us"

"None of us is as strong as all of us"

Thank you to all the Tampa Natives, elected officials Yoli Capin, Sandy Murman and others, for inspiring me to save the Fairyland figurines at Saturday's auction. Now together we will restore these iconic nursery rhyme statues for future generations to enjoy...that which the city of Tampa called trash.

We who are strong ought to bear with the fallings of others and not to please ourselves. - Rom. 15:1

 

 



 

 

2017-Jan. 15 - Dan created and posted his vision of Humpty Dumpty and the king's horses and men watching Humpty perched on the roof of Ulele Restaurant, with editorial comments...

 
     There are many people out there who look at these Fairyland figures and just don't get it as to why all the fuss. Some have been so crass as to criticize their artistic appeal. I saw one comment at the Bay News 9 article about the auction where one egotistic critic said "If these figures are placed along the Riverwalk I'll never walk there again. I am an artist and these things are kitschy." (Good riddance to him. This would be the guy that astrophysicists have been looking for, because the universe revolves around him.)
     Another said "Tacky." (I've seen some rather questionable artwork around town that the city has paid a premium price for, but I digress.)
     It reminds me of when Goody Goody opened, how some outsiders and some of Tampa's hoity toity looked down their noses at the whole affair, criticizing everything from the Burger POX to the decor. They couldn't understand why all the publicity and praise. "I'm not impressed" they griped. "What's the big deal, just another burger joint."
     The answer is simple. They are people who are taken in by today's "throw away" philosophy. "It's old. It's used. It's broken. It's out of style. It's kitschy. It's tacky. Get rid of it. It's cheaper or it's easier to toss it than to fix it."
     They are members of the ME ME ME generation. the iAMers. The iWants. They are too young or they're not from around here, or both. They have no memories to reflect on. They place no importance on what was meaningful in the past and see no relevance to the present.
     They never went to or heard of the original Goody Goody, or Fairyland, or Lowry Park. They have no concept of what Tampa was like 40, or 50, or 60 years ago, and they see no value in keeping any reminders of those years, or reviving them.
     So in 40, 50, or 60 years, when we are gone, they will be the ones wishing that the city wouldn't have demolished the Riverwalk. "What ever happened to that little stadium that used to be near Dale Mabry? It was called Ray Jay." "Does anyone remember that old courthouse downtown that got turned in to a hotel? Why did they tear it down?" "Does anyone have a picture of a public park? There's condos there now." "Who remembers when you could go fishing?"  "Who remembers when Dale Mabry was only 8 lanes?"
     That's all I have to say about that.

 
 

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