Jon: Meet Freddy…



I am currently in the process of developing a new website called Meet Freddy. It is an ode to an amazing woman named Shirley Tabor, or as I knew her, Grandma Tabor. She was a painter, cartoonist, craftmaker and photographer who lived out her life in Coffeyville Kansas. Her work was never shown in a gallery, printed in a magazine, or sold at auction. Students do not write essays about her in college or debate the hidden meanings lurking in the images she created. In fact, as far as I am aware, no one outside of my family has ever seen any of it.

However, she inspired me deeply and was the first person to ever tell me that I was capable of creating something beautiful. I believe that she is largely responsible for making me the creative person I am today.

“But who is Freddy then?” you ask. He is a bear. Not a real one, but a stuffed animal one that stands about three feet tall. His origins are unknown to me, but I do know that something about him inspired my Grandma in the 1980’s to create a small world around him. When she passed away about six years ago she left me the small crocheted box pictured above. Inside were 50 photographs and several poems.  Each photograph was numbered and on the reverse was a hand written description of the image. Picture by picture a story was born.

So yeah. This box is my prized possession. If my house were on fire, it would be the first thing I would grab. Until recently, it had never occurred to me that I would ever have a forum in which I could share her work. Then I got this blog and learned a (very) little bit about webpage design.

So, I am going to make an awesome page that at first is about Freddy, but will eventually feature all of her art. Until then though, I am too excited to not share the pictures with all you Gaycondo readers. So, every week I will post a couple of them along with the words written on the back.



1.) “Grandpa Tabor found a lost teddy bear in the woods. He took him home to Grandma Tabor.”

2.) “Grandma Tabor named the teddy bear Freddy. Freddy likes to sleep on the back of Grandma’s bed”

3.) “Freddy wanted to be the Easter bunny. He said, ‘don’t you look until I get the eggs hid!’ Look at his tail.”

4.) “Freddy is dressed like a ghost. He thinks that the kids do not know who he is. Can you tell? Do ghosts have bear’s ears?”


14 Responses to “Jon: Meet Freddy…”

  1. 1 EM
    June 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    gaycondo will be famous because of Shirley Tabor!!!!!

  2. 2 Joshua
    June 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    This is amazing! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. 3 The Bearded Traveler
    June 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    This reminds me of my friend Cherry’s series of Blythe doll pics.
    She has a Flickr account for them:
    I love this type of stuff. When the active, moving, rustling, shaking, hyper world meets that of a static, inanimate creature in a photograph, it’s equalized. The world becomes static, no more sentient or animate than the creature.

  4. 4 terah beth
    June 24, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    i want more.
    wow, you gays are amazing at telling a good story…
    followed by photographs!

    awh main.

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