George Trummeter doesn’t recall having a koi pond in front of his store when he locked up his Vintage 360 shop at about 6 p.m. Wednesday night. A few planters and other sidewalk decorations, sure — but certainly nothing fishy.
But by the time he returned to open his downtown Bellingham antiques, collectables and gift shop on Holly Street at 7 a.m. Thursday, there they were — three white, black and orange painted koi swimming in a circle on the sidewalk in front of his shop.
“It made my day,” Trummeter said. “I called a really good customer and said, ‘You’ve got to come see the fish in front of my shop!’ This is crazy!”
Especially crazy, considering earlier this week, Trummeter found that someone had ripped down a Pride flag he had over the doorway, even breaking the bracket that held it. A week earlier, someone had kicked over a planter in front of the store, and a week before that, another planter had been moved and dumped. Tummeter says he’s also received his share of “bad” graffiti during the six years he’s run the shop.
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And he’s not alone. In the month of July, alone, 41 instances of graffiti were listed in the Bellingham Police log — nearly half in downtown.
But this was definitely not one of those instances. This was artwork, and it was appreciated.
“It’s been a crazy week — lots of negative,” Trummeter said. “So today, I get here this morning, and it’s not something bad. Oh my gosh! This is so magic! I can’t believe this is happening!”
Trummeter said he snapped pictures and went looking to see if any other downtown businesses had been graced by koi ponds, and he found one with five painted fish swimming across the street in front of the Cabin Tavern.
Trummeter went to go get a coffee at Rocket Donuts, and he started showing the pictures of his sidewalk koi pond.
“I was like, ‘Look, look, look,” Trummeter said. “She was like, ‘I want koi!’ And I said, ‘I want more!’”