What can you say about a guy who is a Little League umpire one day, Santa the next, and in between juggles, does magic, is a great balloon twister and spits jelly beans?

You can say how happy you are that Fairyland favorite Owen Baker-Flynn is in the world.

One of San Francisco’s most popular performers, Owen is also a big hit with Fairyland guests. When he isn’t juggling, doing magic, etc., he has somehow found the time, over the last eight years, to paint 18 of our benches with whimsical scenes that often include an adventuresome tiger and at least one Oreo cookie.

Why the tiger and the cookie? The tiger pays tribute to his (now grown) son’s favorite stuffed animal, and Oreos (except for one peppermint version and the candy corn edition) are one of Owen’s food obsessions. “I might have a problem,” Owen admits. Our guests don’t think so: they love the benches.

Naturally, when Owen delivered his latest creation last week, we were delighted. How long did it take him to paint, we wanted to know. “Way too long,” he says. The benches first live in his bedroom, and then move to the kitchen for painting. This last bench has been in his home since June. The image is that of Tigee (“My kids were never that imaginative in naming their animals”) wearing dark glasses and singing “The Oreo Blues,” the first line of which is memorialized.

The song is real; Owen heard it on the radio some time ago. He loved the fact that the song was funny, but sung in a serious manner. Owen tracked down the performer and co-author of the song, Lonnie Mack, to his website.

Here’s how LonnieMack.com describes the artist: “Lonnie Mack is a roadhouse blues rock legend—modern rock’s first true guitar hero. His playing has influenced the course of rock and roll and had an impact on many of modern rock’s current guitar heroes, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and especially Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

So how would the Conexion Entertainment Group (the licensing company, with offices in Hong Kong, Nashville, L.A. Milan and Berlin, no less) respond to a request asking for permission to reprint one line from Mack’s song on a Fairyland park bench?

Owen sent Conexion  his website link that documents his bench-painting passion, as well as a link to our sweet nonprofit park.  Conexion decided not to charge for usage and to waive the usually mandatory $50 administrative fee.  Their representative even wished him well with his “inspiring” work. “How cool!” was Owen’s response.

Please enjoy the entire first verse of the song, and then come to Fairyland to check out the rest of Owen’s benches. And don’t worry—he doesn’t mind if a posterior part of your body temporarily obscures his art. He’s just that kind of humble guy.

“Chocolate on my fingers, icing on my lips
Sugar diabetes and blubber on my hips
I keep the night light burning in the kitchen baby
So I can go downstairs and cruise
I got them oreo creme sandwich
Chocolate covered creme filled cookie blues.”

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses

  1. Jane O'Brien

    I want to visit so my posterior can sit on his benches. He also has bookmarks made up like the benches. The don’t work to well for me, as I live in one of the sketchier ares of Rhode Island.

    Reply

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