Frog Fest


From the Augusta Chronicle, November 7, 2002. Article by Charmain Z. Brackett)

Whenever she drives down Wheeler Road, Sheryl Jolly looks for Mr. Frog. “I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Ms. Jolly of Sherri Rivers’ frog statuette that sits on the wall in front of her home wearing seasonal attire and bearing a cheerful message on a sign. “It’s one of those landmarks you look at when you drive by.

“Mrs. Rivers invited friends and neighbors to a Frog Fest on Saturday. “I thought I would have a neighborhood gathering, a time to get to know neighbors,” she said.

Since he first appeared on the wall to ring in the new millennium wearing a dapper tuxedo, Mr. Frog has received Christmas cards, Valentines and other notes thanking him for his clever sayings and for brightening their day. One neighbor, unknown to Mrs. Rivers, posted a sign on Aumond Road declaring Mr. Frog for mayor.

“My little girls sent Mr. Frog a Christmas card,” Lynn Smith told Mrs. Rivers as she arrived at Saturday’s drop-in gathering. “I live in Waverly, and my parents live on Regent,” Ms. Smith said. “We pass by here regularly. We love to see how the frog changes what it’s going to say. Some things it says are profound. Some are nice, loving messages.

“Mr. Frog, a gift from Mrs. Rivers’ mother, sat on her porch for several months before she decided to move the frog where people could see it. Anne Roof, Mrs. Rivers’ sister, had bought her a spare Mr. Frog, which came in handy several months ago when the first figure broke. She and Mrs. Rivers’ mother traveled from Conway, SC to attend the event. “I think it’s really a neat idea,” she said of Mr. Frog and the gathering. “Something that brings joy to people will bring people together.”

Mr. Frog’s fans were treated to homemade cookies and the children had their pictures made with him. “Mr. Frog is really cool,” said 10-year-old Grace Jolly. “I like all of his little outfits.” About 30 people stopped by during the two-hour Frog Fest. Mrs. Rivers said she will probably do it again next year. Some attending the Frog Fest suggested making it a special occasion like a wedding, but Mrs. Rivers isn’t sure Mr. Frog is ready to tie the knot. “I think next year I’ll ask people to bring a canned good. I think I’ll do it as a benefit for someone,” she said.