THE LIFE & TIMES OF MR. FROG
Mr. Frog is Always on Duty
“Good morning!” shout preschoolers, waving as they pass Sherri Rivers’ Augusta, Georgia home. They don’t know Sherri. They’re waving to a ceramic frog on Sherri’s wall. Funny as it seems, “Mr. Frog” has become so well known around the neighborhood, he even gets fan mail! “He’s just a silly yard ornament,” Sherri smiles. “But he’s become something of a celebrity.”
When Sherri received the foot-tall gray frog as a gift, she thought he’d look cute sitting on the wall surrounding her house. So in January, 2000 she had a plan to celebrate the new millennium. “I think I’ll dress him up,” she told her husband, Lang. “Er…okay,” he said doubtfully. But he couldn’t help giggling when Mr. Frog appeared in a black top-hat, red bow tie and a tux. A sign beside him read, “Merry Millennium”.
Sherri was tickled when children and even adults stopped to point and even photograph Mr. Frog. So for Valentine’s Day, she gave him a red suit, a red heart and a box for valentines. And when Sherri opened the box, she found he’d received a collection of cards! “I love to see you dressed up, wrote one child.” “We wave to you on our way to preschool”, wrote another. And the fun didn’t stop there. Sherri put a Happy Birthday sign and balloons next to Mr. Frog when a neighbor told her it was her daughter’s fifth birthday. Even Lang has gotten in on the frog act, assembling a Mr. Frog-sized fishing pole for Father’s Day and a wooden desk for “Back to School” time. And in April, when the Master’s golf tournament came to town, Mr. Frog sported full golf garb! So now Mr. Frog’s costumes are changed with seasons, holidays or events and Mrs. Rivers places greetings beside him.
“I don’t mind if people call me ‘The Frog Lady,’ ” Sherri laughs. “I’m just trying to spread joy – and a few ribbits!”