Viewers praise Fox 4 News feature on painted ‘Bug’ controversy

The Bug sports its bright new paint job and pots of spring flowers. Photo by Kathryn Jones/GR Current

The Bug sports its bright new paint job and pots of spring flowers. Photo by Kathryn Jones/GR Current

By Kathryn Jones


Glen Rose’s now-famous painted Volkswagen “Bug” got its three-minutes of fame Monday night when Channel 4 Fox News aired a story about the little “art car” that’s causing a big uproar.

Reporter Saul Garza and a cameraman traveled from Dallas last Wednesday and interviewed Deidra Cockerham, owner of The Junkyard Dog shop where the painted Bug is located. Recently, she gave it a bright new paint job and filled it full of blooming spring flowers.

If you missed the story on Monday night’s newscast, here’s a link to it:

“What’s Buggin’ You?” video

Garza also spoke with Larry Smith and Christine Clark, who bought the VW Beetle for $50 in 2004 and filled it with flowers. Smith’s mechanic cut off the top, put rubber around the former passenger compartment and transformed it into a planter.

The Bug planter was hoisted onto a flatbed trailer and was entered by the Glen Rose Garden Club in the July 4th parade. Then the owner of the former Petal’s store bought the Bug and put it by the shop a block off the downtown square, where it has remained. Cockerham has placed it on a bed of crushed, tumbled glass “gravel.”

She showed Garza news articles and a calendar with a photo by Kelly Hoodenpyle of the Bug — painted red with black spots like a ladybug — in the snow.

More than 30 people also came by to to support the Bug. Some held up signs reading “Save the Bug” and “Quit Bugging Us,” a reference to the City of Glen Rose’s warning that the Bug violates a state junk car ordinance and needs to be brought into compliance or removed.

The previous owner of the metal building that once housed the Petal’s shop received a variance from the city declaring the Bug to be a “work of art” and not subject to the state junk vehicle law. But when the property was sold, the variance did not transfer to the Cockerhams.

Viewers weighed in Garza’s report on the Glen Rose Current’s Facebook page afterward. The response was overwhelmingly favorable.

“Thought the report was very fair,” Darrell Best said in his post. “The City should swallow their pride and move on to fixing their sidewalks in downtown and quit picking on business owners.”

Michelle Smith Thompson voiced a similar sentiment.

“The City should also worry about fixing fire hydrants that are out of service and the street repairs that were never done.”

So did Becky Canady Mansfield Paschal: “I think Glen Rose City Council should be focusing (on) other things of much more importance…streets, rundown homes, other issues THAT really impact.”

Dianne Peters Gruber posted, “We thought that the report was a lot longer than we were expecting. Everyone sounded very good. Very well done.”

“Good job, keep the bug!!!!” Rosa Matheny wrote.

Shirley Alsman Wood said it was “very American getting to voice their opinions,” on the program. “If it was considered yard art for one, it should stay yard art. Keep our bug. It is awesome.”

Lena Ellis-Stringer posted that she loved the bug, “a big part of Glen Rose and what makes it what we are. There should be more bugs around all painted up. It would lighten the moods of a bunch of old fuddy-duddies. Life is too short to pick on Deidra’s bug. Pleeeeeeeese.”

The Cockerhams plan to make their case for keeping the Bug before Municipal Court Judge Mickey Garret on April 2.





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