OMG. As in Oh, Monkey Greatness.
I just found out (seriously, two minutes ago) that the Sock Monkey originated in Rockford, Illinois, which is but an hour from my hometown. And this weekend is the Sock Monkey Madness Festival there! Wow, so there’s validation that there are people out there even kookier than me.
According to Rockford’s Midway Village website (www.midwayvillage.com):
The Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford manufactured and sold Rockford Red Heel work socks from 1932 to 1992 which were used during the Great Depression to create a folk art sock monkey stuffed toy. Aware of the sock monkey craze, Nelson Knitting acquired the patent for the sock toy and included the sock monkey doll pattern with each pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks sold starting in the early 1950’s.
Ahh, sock monkeys…the “fabric” of our lives…
How crazy that I never knew about this.
Er, no—what’s perhaps muy loco is that the two-day festivities include a Make-a-Monkey workshop, beauty pageant, Hall of Fame induction, and sock monkey hospital to repair the loved and weathered among the vintage sock monkey species. (I took my panda bear to one of those, actually, when I was a kid; she got sewn up by a nice little old lady who also wrapped the arm in a bandage. 🙂 This would indeed be the same panda I still hug at night from my RBU post, “CSI: Chronically Sentimental Individual,” if you’d like some more back-story on that aspect of my dementia.)
So, as Rockford evidently becomes “Sockford” this weekend, I am celebrating this newfound connection I have with the sock monkey—and lamenting that I’m missing out on stuffing one by just one weekend! Perhaps I’ll have to content myself with installing laser beams into the eyes of the one I already have, as inspired by the poster…