Don Featherstone, creator of the plastic pink flamingo, died today.
Don created the flamingo when he was freshly graduated from art school, and newly employed at a plastics factory. One of his first assignments was to create three-dimensional plastic lawn ornaments (up to that time, most plastic lawn ornaments were more or less flat). The flamingo was one of his earliest efforts for the factory.
Eventually he became president of the company. After Don retired, dire things were done, by his successor, to the flamingo, triggering a worldwide protest, which eventually led to a more or less happy rallying of the forces of Good, and a restoration of the plastic pink flamingo’s status. In 2011, the flamingo attained new heights, when the Disney movie Gnomeo and Juliet featured a plastic pink lawn ornament named “Featherstone”. Don and Nancy were feted at the film’s premiere.
For 37 years, the Featherstones wore matching outfits every day. Nancy Featherstone told why, in an interview two years in The Guardian. That interview appeared under the headline “Experience: I’ve worn the same outfit as my husband for 35 years“.
BONUS: Buzzfeed has a 2013 photo-essay of the Featherstones in matching costumes going back many years.
BONUS (quasi-related): “Woman beset upon by plastic pink flamingos” in 2011
BONUS: “Pink flamingo emergency” in 2006.