With the exception of my childhood 1960s teddy bear and my late sister's 1950s battered and well-hugged teddy, he's the only soft toy I own.
Garfield was bought in 1988 at Surfers Paradise where I stayed while visiting World Expo 88 in Brisbane. You might remember the over $600 million, six month long event with 100 pavilions, 36 participating countries and 18 million visitors.
Garfield began in 1976 as an American comic strip called Jon after Garfield's owner, Jon Arbuckle, and was created by cartoonist Jim Davis. Garfield's name and personality came from Jim's cantankerous grandfather, James A Garfield Davis.
The strip became Garfield in 1978 and in 2013 it took the Guiness World Record for the most widely syndicated comic strip.
Known for his laziness, sarcasm and eating, Garfield hates Mondays,diets and any exertion. His favorite food is lasagna but, over the years, he has slimmed down gradually and now walks on two feet instead of four.
Call me naive, but I recently learned Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was only created in 1939 for an American store, Montgomery Ward, by copy writer, Robert May. The other reindeer of Santa Claus are from the 1823 poem, A Visit From St Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore, which we know as The Night Before Christmas.
Rudolph began life as a free Montgomery Ward colouring-in book for children at Christmas time and singing cowboy, Gene Autry, recorded the now famous song in 1949.
Wishing Collectors' members and the wider Benalla U3A community a very bright Christmas and New Year.