Ron Forshee has gotten a little behind in his work.
Even though he works 12-hour days in his craft shop in suburban St. Louis, Forshee, 48, says he cannot keep up with the demand for the plywood Granny Fannies and Grandpa Fannies that he makes for the lawns of Middle America.
Granny Fannies are not new; it's just that the market had sort of bottomed out in recent years. Then Forshee, a self-employed house remodeler, inspired by a carved wooden posterior he saw on a fishing trip in southern Illinois about four years ago, decided that cheek could once more be chic. He and his wife, Diann, opened the Village Craft Shoppe in Cahokia, Ill., and Ron went to work with his band saw.
Grannie Fannies come in two sizes, large (39 inches tall, 26 inches wide), which sells for $18.50, and small (32 inches by 17 inches), at $13.50. From a distance, they look like the rear end of an amply built elderly lady bending down among the begonias, sturdy pink legs and lace-trimmed underwear visible to all the world. The no-frills male version sports blue jeans and a red fabric kerchief sticking out of a back pocket. Forshee sells his butts, as he prefers to call them, to three wholesale-retail outlets, two in Missouri, the other in Illinois.
Forshee is planning some innovations—including a nude version that will come with optional wooden underwear for the prudish.