The Carrot King - Jeff Chiplis, Cleveland
Here is Jeff showing off the current collection and a superb carrot mask.
(Artist/mask maker yuko oyama, and becky yee, photographer - web site here).
........ and how he looks without it! (photo becky yee - website here)
His collection has come from far and wide, he even roped in his sister who
had to explain to an Argentinean market seller that she only wanted the bag
and not the contents. Jeff has several bags that display a rabbit which bears
a significant resemblance to Bugs Bunny. Although
the true carrot collectors motto still holds good for the majority of the
collection - "Less Cutesy - More Carotty!"
The oldest label in the collection is for Howdy Doodie carrots dating from the 1950's. The mainstay of his collection are plastic and burlap bags. Jeff says "What's nice about the carrot bags is you can fold them up and put them under your arm and go places with them." Anything which is compact, easy to collect, easy to transport, and a wide variety is the ideal collectible. Carrot bags also mail well. A local woman who had seen Jeff on TV once sent him about 80 bags, ironed and folded. She had saved them for years under the sink, storing them in her rag bags.
Jeff's total collection carrot memorabilia totals over 10,000
with items such as comic books, cartoons, kitchen tools and carrot gardeners row
planter markers. He has toys, tee shirts and a carrot fishing fly! The list just
goes on and on ... Christmas Tree
decorations, plates, cups, fridge magnets.
Jeff's wife, Cindy, is a social worker who "definitely sees things as more carrot than cute." When they married, they hired a Buddhist minister who converted to Judaism at the last minute and couldn't officiate. But they found a Unitarian minister willing to read lines like "If you carrot all about each other . . .," and the ceremony went on without a hitch. Love crunches all.
Jeff truly reflects the essence of carrot madness. Well done Jeff.
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