Hi. I'm Gumby, aka Randy. Actually I was Gumby in a past life. More about that later. My brother is Chalmie. Chalmie's family decided I need my own web page. They discussed themes and details. With the name Gumby and the life of the Pillsbury Doughboy it's tough to focus, but that's my life. This page is the fruit of the efforts of my brother's family.
It was suggested that this page be called Gumby.com because I might remember that. Shana suggested, quite correctly, that Gumby Calhoun is not a company. Dad suggested that Gumby has been company but no one said anything about "good company". Mom suggested that Gumby is the biggest company that we've ever had. Little Chalm said, "I guess I didn't know why we called him Gumby. I thought it was because when he torments Shana and I, we chew him up and spit him out, like a piece of gum."
It was agreed that Gumby.com was appropriate. We tried naming the page Gumby.com but it didn't seem to work so I guess it will be Gumby.htm. It's unlikely that I could remember my brother's URL http://showcase.netins.net/web/chalmie/ , but who's going to know.
You've seen the image for the second Pillsbury Doughboy (I was the original.) Click on my understudy's image above to hear me giggle. There are also some Gumby images and an explanation of how I got my name. There are several pictures of me here. I do enjoy looking at myself.
My Sordid Past. or - Agency 52530.
I started out as a youngster growing up in Agency, Iowa. I worked as a "butcher boy" at Swinney's Grocery from about the time I was twelve years old. In this picture of me, taken circa 1955 in the Jobe family living room in Agency, Iowa, you can see that my hands are in the air. They are being held in the air my mother, Kate. At the time I thought she was just trying to keep me still and in one place. (Keeping me from running off was a major challenge for my parents at this time.) I'm older and smarter now, by my own evaluation.
The wisdom of age tells me that the reason my hands were in the air then is really because Mom was grooming me for my future fame. To be featured in TV appearances on shows like Cops and America's Most Wanted, where having my hands in the air would be an appropriate and even necessary pose.
Cookie Monster (The early years)
Among my first memories is living in Agency, Iowa in the rear of the building now occupied by Bea's Beauty Shop. Dad ran his business out of the front portion of that building. The business was Calhoun Real Estate and Insurance. We were in the heart of downtown Agency.
Back in the mid to late 1950's the south side of Main Street in Agency, between Hazel and Vine Street was abuzz with commerce. Farmers would come from as far as ten to fifteen miles away to buy canned goods at Swinney's Grocery, or get a haircut at Pud's (or later Stub Wiley's) barbershop, or perhaps bring a saddle or bridle in to town to be repaired at Jack Kibler's harness shop. Many of the city folk would do coffee at Doc's restaurant on the northeast corner of that main block of Main Street, Agency IA 52530. I think some of the people just came to "hang out".
For most of the year 1956 I was two years old. (I turned two in late April) My favorite pastime at that age was visiting Swinney's Grocery Store, which was exactly three doors down from Dad's Real Estate and Insurance business. It was a short, and tasty trip, and I made it often. I spent some serious hours at the grocery where I would enjoy sampling the cookies out of the bulk cookie bin (does anyone remember those?) When Mom or Dad realized that I was missing, Mom, or more fearfully, six foot six inch Dad would know where to look for me and come to Swinney's to literally chase me home.
One epicurially pleasing day, when I had already downed a goodly supply of cookies, I was recognized as being missing from home, again. Dad came to chase me home. While running home, which I always did when Dad found me at "The Store", the cookie load got to be too much and I had to stop at the barbershop step. I was only one door away from home, and freedom. Dad's mission was to chase me home again. Nothing more. To teach me to just stay home. Once home I could hide from Dad easily and he would quickly forget the slight incovenience of having to find me, once again. This was my routine. It's what I did. I did it daily. Several times. If only my limbs and torso could work in harmony again on this day as it had so many times before, I would elude Dad and be home momentarily. Dad would forget the incident and Shortly I'd be working out the logistics for my next invasion of the "The Store". I was a bit spindly in those days but I was lightning-fast, and fear was an unknown emotion. Unbelieveably, and tragically, on this day I didn't make it. Without knowing it, I had overdosed on cookies and had to stop and regurgitate. Right there on the Barbershop steps.
My Notorious Adolescense.
Around my fourteenth year I got dentures. In the interim between the time I lost my teeth and before I got dentures I was ripe for a nickname. Hence, the name "Gumby." The story doesn't end there, however. Sometime shortly after I got my dentures it was discovered that they contained magical powers. I had within my mouth the power to ward off evil (or utter innumerable profanities). People would come from far and wide to have themselves or their possessions blessed by my magic teeth. Unfortunately this notoriety was short-lived. Sometime shortly after I blessed Larry's watermelon corvette with my magic teeth the car turned into another kind of fruit. The Car became a lemon. The rumor began to spread that my powers had begun to wane or that they had turned to strictly evil. My fame faded and was ushered into the life of obscurity that I still enjoy and try to maintain.
Mary Lynn says: "I had him (Randy aka Gumby) in Youth Group. That was my last year of Youth Group."
Mrs. Reynolds says: "That &$@^*&$# - *^#!#^%* BRAT!!!
The here and now.