Somerset man’s love of hood ornaments leads to a cover-up

Spirit of the Bluegrass

SOMERSET, Ky. (WDKY)– The roads around Pulaski County are always busy. Traffic isn’t something you pay much attention to unless one particular car comes into view.

Bill Grider’s 1995 Toyota Tercel is like a rolling museum or an art exhibit, with
trinkets and treasures from the tip to the top to the trunk.
He has no idea how many things he’s glued to his car. One person estimated about 1,800.

“It’s like trying to count chickens,” he said. ” You can’t count ’em. They just dart around all the time.”

This all started with one parrot fastened on front because Grider always liked hood ornaments. Now, two years later, it’s hard to find that first decoration among the crowd of creatures, cartoon characters and key chains. Almost all of them were given to him by children.

“They’ve given me rocks. They’ve given me sticks,” he said. And he was happy to glue them alongside the other decorations.

Grider knows a lot of these items are collectible now and he’s been offered a lot of money for some of the pieces, but says none of them are for sale.

“That yellow-looking horse up there,” he says, pointing, “…two truck drivers offered me $100 for that horse.” But he didn’t take the money because he said “kids like seeing that horse.”

Most people of any age can’t help but smile when they see the artsy auto.

“Ah man, this is absolutely amazing,” said Doc Kanarowski, who saw the car for the first time in the parking lot of a restaurant. “It would bring happiness to anybody.”

Well, anybody except one recent bystander.

“She cussed and said ‘How do you see to drive that crazy looking trap?'” Grider said. “I said, ‘Lady, I can’t. I can’t see,’ but I said ‘I live here and I pretty well know where I’m going!'”

Actually, at age 88, Bill Grider gets along fine.
“I’m careful,” he said. “I’m always scouting ahead when I drive.”

He says as long as he keeps his line of sight clear in the windshield and mirrors, he doesn’t expect to get in any trouble with the law.

Every time he hits the road, it’s a joy ride. The car is the talk of the town, and Grider believes there’s still room for more conversation pieces

“Yeah, I could put a hundred more on there.”

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