WYOMING, Mich. — This story gives new meaning to a knight before Christmas – and that’s not a misspelling.
Perhaps you’ve seen the Wyoming knight – an art fixture that sits gleaming in a local front yard – keeping watch over busy 44th Street traffic. It’s been there for 30-years, including the last four, since next door neighbor Matt Gould moved in.
“It took some getting used to, didn’t know what the backstory was,” said Gould. “But it was just a short amount of time before I stepped over, introduced myself, and kind of got the story behind it.”
Turns out the owners of the knight had purchased it at auction three decades ago, in Texas. They fell in love with the piece, bought it, threw it on a flatbed and shipped it back up to Michigan, planting it in the very same spot where it stands today.
“It was a huge hit in the neighborhood, people love seeing it,” said Gould, “and it’s been standing there for 30-plus years.”
Gould has come to love the knight, as so many have. He even uses it when giving directions to his house.
“Most people are, you know, ‘it’s the next red mailbox,’” he said, chuckling. “When I’m telling people the directions to my house, I’m like, as soon as you see the knight in shining armor, I’m the next house.”
But times change and the owners of the knight recently told Gould they were moving and asked him to handle the sale of the knight. It seemed like an easy enough endeavor, until Gould posted it online.
“When I posted it online for sale, all of a sudden my phone just started going absolutely insane,” he said. “People reaching out in the community saying, hey, you know you can’t sell this thing, you’ve got to keep it around, we used to see it when we were kids walking to and from the bus stop.”
One friend suggested Gould start up a GoFundMe page to purchase the knight and keep it in the community, so he did. In just one day, the campaign hit its goal and then some.
So the knight will stay in Wyoming, Gould hopes somewhere along 44th Street, maybe as close as his own front yard just a few feet away. He’s even asked the city about potentially getting it approved as a local landmark.
“That way the community can continue to enjoy it and keep going with those memories they’ve created over the years,” he said.