|You Can’t Keep A Good Goose Down
After ‘surgery’ following a vicious ‘attack,’ Goosy Lucy is back home again
|Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor|
June 8, 2006 -- She’s been kidnapped, kicked and called a “quack,” but after four months of repair and recovery from a malicious act of vandalism, Goosy Lucy is back in place -- this time a little closer to the front porch steps of her home at 618 College St.
When Lynne Merrick brought the 80-pound cement goose sculpture, which has come to be known as Goosy Lucy, home with her from Chicago in 1995, she had no idea how popular the "silly goose" would become, thanks to a variety of seasonal and holiday costumes she dresses it in.
But through the years, Goosy Lucy has, in fact, become an icon of sorts for school children, commuters and visitors touring the historical streets of Sulphur Springs, according to Merrick.
However, in spite of the goose's esteem in the community (or perhaps because of it) disaster occurred for the first time in July of 2001 when it was taken from the yard of its College Street address.
The Merricks filed a police report, which sent officers on a "wild goose chase," and then offered a reward for the safe return of Goosy Lucy. When that didn’t happen, the Allen family, who also lived on College Street, replaced the goose, and the News-Telegram reported the neighbors' unsolicited act of kindness in an article, inadvertently referring to the statue as a duck when it stated, “the quack is back.” (More on that later.)
Almost three years later, in the fall of 2004, officers from the Sulphur Springs Police Department found the original goose statue while conducting an investigation of another crime, and proudly returned Goosy Lucy to her rightful owners.
The first thing Goosy Lucy wanted to clear up, according to Merrick, was the fact that she is a “honker,” not a “quacker.”
Sorry about that, Lucy.
Then, this year, misfortune struck again.
In January, Merrick discovered that someone had knocked off the head of her beloved goose statue.
“After this last incident, I thought I would just put her away,” Merrick said. “I was so upset, I left her there on the ground for weeks for everyone to see, and so whoever did it could see what he or she had destroyed.”
When numerous inquiries started coming in asking about the goose’s condition, and later her absence, Merrick realized how much people truly enjoyed the presence of Goosy Lucy.
“I never thought she would become so popular,” said Merrick. “People I didn’t even know where pulling up in my driveway asking ‘Where’s the goose?’ Kids from church were asking about her. It seemed like everyone wanted to know what happened to her.”
So when one of Lucy’s friends, George Law, offered to repair her, Merrick took him up on his kind offer, and the goose spent more than three weeks at what Merrick calls “Law Memorial Goose Clinic,” undergoing extensive rebar surgery and rehabilitation.
“It was really just his barn, but he did have her in a neck brace for a little while,” Merrick, said with a laugh. "If someone tries to kick or hit her now, they'll get their foot broken."
On May 8, Goosy Lucy returned home in a hospital gown with bandages around her head and neck, and strict orders to stay closer to home, as well as in a well-lit area. The Merricks purchased a spot light so she can be seen at night, and positioned her near the front porch, rather than the sidewalk, in hopes that her future life will be much safer.
“She’s for the people,” said Merrick, who purchased five new outfits for Goosy Lucy as "welcome home" presents. “She’s become a part of the flavor of this town, and she’s a gift for those who drive up and down this street.”