Don Featherstone died yesterday in his (and my) hometown of Fitchburg, Mass. He was 79 and suffered from Lewy body disease, a type of dementia.
You probably don’t recognize the name. But you will most likely recognize what he gave the world.
Featherstone was an art major who worked as a designer at a plastics factory when he struck gold — pink, actually — with the flamingo design. It was his second assignment.
He designed it with the idea that in the post-war world, people needed a way to recognize their home within the cookie-cutter world of the housing development.
“You had to mark your house somehow,” Featherstone told Smithsonian Magazine. “A woman could pick up a flamingo at the store and come home with a piece of tropical elegance under her arm to change her humdrum house.”
Also, it was pretty, his wife, Nancy said.
Featherstone kept a flock of 57 pink flamingos in his yard.
Disney’s 2011 film “Gnomeo & Juliet” featured a pink lawn flamingo named “Featherstone” in his honor.