UniRoyal Gal: Tootsie 2018
I was delighted when I first discovered that there was a UniRoyal Gal about fifteen minutes from David's parents house in Bradenton, Florida. Tootsie was one of our first stops on our trip to Florida last year, where we found her easily accessible but in desperate need of a new paint job. Through a bit of Instagram fate, I recently saw a photo of Tootsie, fresh from a patriotic makeover. Luckily, we had already planned a return trip to Florida, and of course couldn't resist revisiting the brand new Tootsie.
Tootsie, a 17-feet-tall, 300-pound fiberglass UniRoyal Gal was originally displayed in Illinois. She was brought to Florida upon her owner's retirement and Tom Edmunds, of Edmunds Metal Works bought her for $500. She's been standing outside of his shop in Bradenton since 2013. When we visited her last year, she wore a faded, yellow bikini with black polka dots still visible on her backside. She had matching yellow heels, a faded blonde bob and stood on a plain metal base.
As you can see from the photos, Tootsie's makeover was dramatic. She's been repainted head to toe—stars and stripes on her bikini, a new black dye job and black heels to match. She even has a new anklet, with charms representing the different branches of the military. In fact, the new Tootsie is very overtly patriotic, and while there's nothing wrong with loving America and supporting our troops, the "Patriotism Means Standing Up For Being an American" sign feels a little too "Make America Great Again" for my tastes.
Of course I'm happy that Tootsie is being maintained and loved, but I do miss her original yellow polka dot bikini. I'm so glad that we got to see Tootsie last year in her original state, and then again so soon looking totally different. UniRoyal Gals are very rare, and with Tootsie I feel like we got a two-for-one deal.
Edmund's Metal Works
6111 15th St E,
Bradenton, FL 34203