Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52art background, I’m blown away at what these guys have taught me,” he said. “They love what they do and get to see the smiles on our customers’ faces.” The team has placed Uncle Sam Tube Dudes in the Florida and California Capitol buildings, construct- ed two soccer players for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, immortalized Seattle Sounders forward Victor Mansaray and his unique hairstyle as a Tube Dude, and recently completed a series of 18 foot tall giraffes. “Right now we’re doing a full-sized horse for a world-class equestrian facility,” Gerber said. “And to- morrow… who knows what we’re going to build?” Ideally they will be building one the eight Tube Dudes in the City of Greer’s first order. Gerber spent a full day touring Greer to determine ideal locations for Tube Dudes, taking into account backgrounds, colors, and subtleties of the area. While other cities have considered making Tube Dudes a part of their downtowns and parks, the spring installation will be the Gerber’s first venture into mu- nicipal art. “Greer is the first city that has actually gone through with a plan and I’m extremely impressed by its level of efficiency and dedication to a great idea,” he said. “Most cities decide they would like one here and another there, but they have no plan.” Driggers hopes the first Tube Dudes in the city will inspire business owners and possibly residents to consider adding a custom sculpture to their properties. Gerber said he has yet to find a business that he could not represent with a Tube Dude. Residents, he said, love that Tube Dudes may be made in their owners’ images. “When you put a Tube Dude in front of your house – whether it’s a mailbox or a lawn sculpture – it tells the rest of the world that the people who live in that house are approachable. I always tell people that it’s a reflec- tion of who you are” Gerber said. Gerber went one step further with his office in Sarasota. Everything in the building, from furniture and file cabinets to the toilet paper holder, is Tube Dude related. That, he said, was a nod to the Tube Dude for rescuing him not only from unemployment, but also for giving him a new view on life. “When I made the very first one, I was in a dark spot and just needed something to convey a smile,” he said. “Here was this former yacht builder as far away from making an aluminum stick figure as you could possibly get – something so simple and yet so whimsi- cal – but something that was making people happy. “When I was building yachts and had an idea, I’d go up to the ‘idea door’ and it was never easy to open. I’d have to put my shoulder into it and it would finally open, but what I saw on the other side was never what I had anticipated. With Tube Dude, when I go to that door it swings open easily. Everybody should come to that point that they realize it’s so much easier to go through life with a smile than a frown.” That’s the goal of the Greer project, Gerber said. He’s ready to create Dudes and Dudettes to amuse both residents and visitors and put a smile on everyone’s face. “I’m one of those guys that marches to a totally different drum. The imagination is the strongest thing we have in our bodies. I can lift this building with my imagination. So we can do anything with Tube Dudes,” he said. “If you want fine art you can go to the muse- um. I mean, you’re not going to decorate the Mona Lisa, but people who own Tube Dudes can decorate them for each season. And I guarantee they have a lot more fun. “Probably the greatest thing in the world to me is when a child from Ohio comes running down the street yelling, “Dad! It’s the Tube Dude!” Sometimes the child may be 75 years old. That’s the thing about the Tube Dude. It doesn’t matter what language you speak or how old you are. The simplicity is the magic.” Gerber unveils a custom Tube Dude photographer mailbox for another happy customer. 21