I met Grant Owen in Newport, Vermont right before the pandemic hit. He was an exhibitor at the annual collector’s fair put on by the Old Stone Museum in Brownington. People bring their collections to share with the public…yardsticks, pez dispensers, old glass…and Grant was there with a table covered in stuffed animals.
Right after the fair, the stay at home order started, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Grant Owen, sheltering in place with a roomful of stuffed animals, which for him are a big extended family. They’re real.
Kids know how to turn objects into living things. It’s like magic. And for some reason it seemed like the perfect antidote to all the Covid 19 news. So I went over to his house on a warm day in late February, and I stood in the snow outside his bedroom window, and we talked for a few minutes about his stuffed animals.