A long time ago the hospital tuck shop was a well known place for bedside get well gifts and a used book or two for those in the hospital. You could always find something to express well wishes or the perfect thing to thank a nurse, doctor or caregiver for providing great care.
The tuck shop was always there to help with whatever you might need.I have been just as guilty as other residents in Carleton Place, not even bothering to go see what was new in our local tuck shop in the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital. Well my lovelies– these gals not only still carry candy and books– they have some great fashion pieces and neat things in there.
Like these Gnomes. I have one thing to say, drop in and see them: “Country Roads Take Me Gnome” and if anyone questions your purchase just say the gnomes made you do it.
To inspire you to give one of these gnomes a home– here is a story I wrote a few years ago. So drop in and say hello to these great gals at our Carleton Place Hospital Tuck Shop.
The Gnome Whisperer of my Gnometown
There are now over 2,300 gnomes that now populate the hills and flats of Gnome Mans Land, California (Oakland). Until recently, they had pretty much managed to keep their presence a secret but then word got out in 2013 and there were fears that even Gnomeland Security might get into the act.
Word on the street is this population was descended from a shipment of gnomes bound for Oakland’s famousFairyland in 1928 and escaped when the delivery truck tipped over. But really, gnobody gnows where they came from. You can find them at the bases of telephone poles and they gnever gather in groups. They hate low altitudes and heavy traffic, and live off the energy found in the telephone wires.
More than a year ago, a mysterious man wanted to do something nice for his neighbors near Lake Merritt in Gnomelandia. He found some scrap wood from old fences and cut them into wooden blocks 6 inches tall, and painted the mythical creatures on them. Then he anonymously screwed (not nailed) the guerrilla installations to wooden utility poles (never trees), at sidewalk level.
The first batch of about two dozen went up in January, 2012. The artist’s greatest joy is walking the streets of Oakland (“tending herd” as he calls it) to make sure none have been removed.
A woman posted on a Facebook page:
“We need some Gnomes in East Oakland around Eastmont Mall!! Magic is something that can grow.” Her neighborhood? When one hears about shootings in Oakland, probably 1/3 are within twenty blocks of her home. And there’s an elementary school there with four telephone poles in front of it, two on its side. They are getting every gnome [in stock]. She deserves them for believing in magic.”
At Fairyroom.com they figured out that “the gnomes on the streets close to the lake’s edge are wearing pants. But as the streets angle up the hill, the gnomes on the telephone poles change their wardrobe to kilts. The gnomes of Oakland’s higher elevations are plainly Highlanders, a bit of dry humor everyone heartily appreciates.”
Then one day San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carolyn Jones blew their cover. PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) spokesman Jason King said he had never noticed them on their utility poles, although he jogs around the lake. Sticking to the company playbook, he told her a crew would be dispatched to remove them from gnome mans land.
His exact words: “We can’t have anything that would compromise the integrity of our equipment. The concern is that the gnomes could inspire additional people to place things on our property.”
A “Save the Lake Merritt Gnomes” Facebook page popped up. Calls poured in. The Twittersphere exploded. Negotiations ensued.
We are holding peace talks for the 2300 gnomes in a secret mushroom patch near the Rose Garden,” said Zac Wald, chief of staff to City Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney, whose district includes the preponderance of the gnome population. “People love the gnomes, and they are District Three residents.”
At the end of January there was a positive win for the little people:
“We received a great deal of public feedback, so we’re declaring the poles gnome-man’s land. We’re not going to remove them,” PG&E spokesman Jason King said.
I think the gnomes are a sweet reminder that a little magic can go a long way. I’m looking forward to the story spreading beyond Oakland – but for now, the magic remains in Oakland– because– that’s where the Gnomes are.
Photos by Linda Seccaspina
Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Fact:
The Auxiliary to the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) has dedicated caring members. They donate an average of 20,000 hours per year in support of the hospital. The Auxiliary has made a commitment to raise $1,000,000 over the next ten years through its fundraising activities. The people and businesses in our community are to be commended for their generous support in helping to make this happen, and we thank you!