Davey had a pretty good life, for a head.
Though his own face remained stoic, he brought smiles to people walking by his stump on Woodlawn Avenue and brightened up the days of friends and family.
“His life was pretty simple,” Heather Johnson said. “He just kind of hung around.”
That is, until shortly before Valentine’s Day. That’s when Davey disappeared.
Johnson thinks he must have had help – because Davey is a 40- to 50-pound concrete head – a replica of the head of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Or Apollo. Johnson isn't sure.
But there's no dispute that Davey arrived as a Christmas present from Johnson’s dad 17 years ago. He has moved with her from Webster Groves to Des Peres to her current home at Woodlawn and Bogey Lane in Kirkwood, where they have lived for almost four years.
Johnson, now 43, admits she was slow to warm up to Davey.
“It was unusual,” she said. “I did not love it at first.”
But through the years, Davey became part of the family. Johnson dressed him up for holidays and special events, which wasn’t too difficult because he only wore hats. Her husband and two sons got into the spirit and so did the neighbors walking or driving by on Woodlawn.
“He kind of started having a following,” Johnson said. “He sort of became like an expression of what was going on in our community.”
The Johnsons were so crushed by his disappearance that they created a website and a Facebook page dedicated to his return. They posted small signs around town asking for information and held a candlelight vigil.
Their plight has led to heartwarming emails from admirers, reported sightings and even a cryptic message from someone claiming that Davey was safe somewhere but covered in nail polish.
But so far, no Davey.
“I think we could probably accept him covered with nail polish,” Johnson said. “We’d just like to have him back.”
“It’s an incredible bummer,” she added.
Davey’s fans agreed.
“Davey is sorely missed by our entire family,” one person wrote to the Johnsons. “We all pass him several times daily coming to and from work/school/shopping and our cruises down Woodlawn are without inspiration!”