There was a very interesting story in the Frederick News Post this week about a missing gnome. While the world is full of depressing stories, I thought I would share this one with you for a little levity. Instead of just linking to the story, I will put it here, in its entirety. And as always, thank you, Frederick News Post, for putting things in perspective...
If Cara Huether's gnome is a victim of gnome-napping, then the stunt has gone far enough.
Huether's gnome, which she named Charlie, has been gone from her garden for a year and it's time the prank ended and Charlie came home, she said.
She's posted signs around Frederick asking if anyone has information about the garden gnome. She posted the signs about 2 feet tall -- the height of her missing gnome, and put photos of her gnome on the sign.
Charlie is wearing a red shirt, blue pants and blue hat, and has a beard. He's holding a lantern. He's made of concrete, and probably weighs about 15 pounds, Huether said.
"I thought when he first disappeared that some kid would send me some pictures of him traveling around, but he was taken a year ago," she said.
Gnome-napping has taken on a life of its own, according to the website About.com. Travel-planning website Travelocity started its own roaming gnome in 2003. Since then the Travelocity gnome, which looks a bit like a tiny Victorian Santa, has been photographed all over the world. He's even starred in a few commercials, and is pictured on shirts, mugs and magnets that Travelocity sells.
In the 2001 movie "Amelie," the protagonist sends her father's gnome off on his own world tour, and is photographed at many landmarks.
Gnome-napping goes back further, at least to the 1980s in Australia. The tradition migrated to England and later America. Some gnome-nappers are reportedly students on spring break.
Huether, 32, has loved gnomes since she was a child. Her mother gave her the missing gnome 10 years ago, just before Huether graduated from college. When she and her husband married and moved into a house on 14th Street two years ago, Huether displayed the gnome in her garden in front of the house.
The couple lives close to Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, and Huether thinks the culprit could be a high school student.
"He's been gone for a while," Huether said. "I thought it was a senior prank. I'm hoping some kid will go off to college and his mother will see it in his room and return it."
She decided to post the signs hoping that someone, somewhere might have information.
Her mother bought the gnome at roadside stand in Pennsylvania.
"My husband and I are huge gnome fans," she said. "We have a lot of gnome-esque things like pajamas and little stuff."
The gnome lived among hosta and miniature pine trees. When the Huethers were away on their honeymoon, friends babysat their house and the gnome, and took him all over Frederick. They surprised the couple with pictures of the gnome's adventures.
"He's one of a kind," Huether said. "He's special. He actually had meaning. He is an important part of my life."