Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Business

Brandon's iconic elephant, camel sculptures find home in Tampa

BRANDON — John Knight has been on an elephant hunt since 1977.

More than 36 years ago, Knight spotted a 2,000-pound pachyderm on Brandon Boulevard. It wasn't difficult to see since it was painted pink and has greeted passers-by outside the property that once housed Shelton's Nursery since 1974.

He stopped in and offered the business owner, Arthur Yambor, $1,000 for the elephant. Yambor declined the bid and enjoyed the elephant, along with a second statue of George Washington riding a purple camel, until his death in 2004.

Last week, Knight finally landed his prize. Knight was the highest of five bidders for Brandon's affectionate critters during a monthlong auction Yambor's wife, Paula, held as she prepares the land at 1350 W Brandon Blvd. for sale.

Knight paid $2,200 for both sculptures and plans to relocate them to the back yard of his home about a mile south of Busch Gardens in Tampa. He already owns a dinosaur about the same size.

"I was going to put it in the front yard, but then I found out about the controversy and saw some YouTube videos of people climbing on it so I decided to put it in the back yard," he said. "My wife (Suzette) likes elephants."

Knight settled in Hillsborough County in 1966 when his father retired from the Army. In 1984, he opened his residential and commercial moving company, JBC Systems, in part to support his triplets. He also has two grandchildren who he says are excited to welcome home the hollow statues that were constructed to conceal alcohol during the prohibition years from 1920 to 1933 and sat outside a local bar.

Knight plans to use his forklift, flatbed trailer and a custom-made pallet he is constructing to move the elephant and camel very soon.

"This will be the stupidest thing I ever moved," Knight said.

For Paula, it's a bittersweet goodbye to a pair of local landmarks that are leaving the nursery property after nearly four decades.

"I like the buyer who seems genuinely interested in caring for them," Paula said. "Plus, they will only be going to Tampa, where my daughter, son and I may get to visit them occasionally.

"It has been wonderful to get such public response to the critters, as my friends call them. My husband would be delighted."

Eric Vician can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the United States that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa called Wednesday for artists to send in their ideas for a big piece of public art for the outdoor plaza between one of the $3 billion project’s office buildings and the new University of South Florida Morsani College of Med...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in a record $112 billion to Florida’s economy in 2016, up about 3 percent from 2015, according to Visit Florida figures released Wednesday. About 10 percent — $88 billion — of the state’s gross domestic product came from tourism in 20...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time

Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):4 p.m.Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its first close above 26,000 points.The Dow had traded above that level on Tuesday but wound...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco goats somehow make yoga less weird

Pasco goats somehow make yoga less weird

DADE CITY — More than 36 million Americans practice yoga, but many people still feel intimidated by the ancient method of controlling the body and mind through physical and mental practices.Perhaps it is the daunting terms or confusing poses that cau...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Behold: The fastest cars at this year’s Detroit Auto Show

Behold: The fastest cars at this year’s Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT — Despite all the hype surrounding auto shows, let’s get real for a moment: The majority of the vehicles on display will end up ferrying kids to soccer practice, embarking on road trips and commuting between work and home each day.That’s unde...
Updated: 12 hours ago
This is why clothing companies want to know about your weight, jobs and past pregnancies

This is why clothing companies want to know about your weight, jobs and past pregnancies

The first step for a shopper buying a suit at the fast-growing menswear retailer Indochino is sharing his personal information: A salesperson armed with an iPad measures nearly everything on his body, from the distance between his belly button and re...
Published: 01/17/18
TECO, Duke linemen to help restore power in Puerto Rico

TECO, Duke linemen to help restore power in Puerto Rico

TAMPA — As more than 1.5 million people in Puerto Rico remain powerless, local linemen are stepping up and flying out to the island to help restore electricity. On Wednesday morning, 25 linemen boarded a flight from Tampa International Airport to Pu...
Published: 01/17/18

Pasco Business Digest for Jan. 19

Updated: 12 hours ago