It’s not easy being green
For collector Erin Karpich, of Williamsport, frogs are her friends!
Karpich began collecting frogs when she was in high school and believes she has more than 50 frogs in her collection to date.
So, it’s no surprise that she suggested a meeting at the Bullfrog Brewery as the location of her interview.
Many frogs she receives as gifts from friends and family for birthdays, Christmas or souvenirs brought back for her from trips. She even has made a few of her own frogs.
“I made a frog bean bag in 4-H club in elementary school as a project,” Karpich said. “I made two frogs out of clay in 2008, one that represents me as a frog.”
She said her most cherished frog is her great-grandmother’s sponge holder that sits on her counter by her kitchen sink. She also loves an antique frog ashtray that was her grandmother’s.
Karpich said she always has loved Kermit the Frog and believes that the first frog she received was a stuffed Muppet Babies Kermit wearing a red plaid vest that she got from McDonald’s. She also remembers getting a metal Muppet Show lunchbox from her uncle because it had Kermit on it.
She always enjoyed watching “Sesame Street,” “The Muppet Show” and “Muppet Babies” growing up because she couldn’t get enough of Kermit.
Her apartment has an assortment of frog figurines, magnets and other happy hoppers on display.
“A friend came into my apartment and said ‘wow, you have an army of frogs!'” Karpich said.
She also has a few on her desk at work at the YMCA downtown, including one that holds paper clips and tape that she got from her mother and another glass figurine that a friend brought back for her from the Ukraine.
She said she believes she became interested in frogs at a young age because they were a part of her childhood growing up in a country setting.
“During my childhood, my siblings and I would catch frogs,” she said. “We had a bullfrog that lived in the stone in the foundation of our house. Our neighbors had a frog pond and we would catch them and watch the tadpoles. As a kid, they always were around.”
Karpich said about 85 percent of all of her frogs are gifts from her mother, who gave her a bag full of frog items for her birthday last year.
A few of the froggy friends that Karpich has in her collection include a dish soap holder, candle warmer, towels, bags, stuffed animals, a lamp, a clock, slippers, salt and pepper shakers and a bottle opener, which is one of her favorites.
Karpich even had a pet frog named Dr. Watson.
She said she would like to get a filtration system that sprays an automatic mist, aiding in the care of another pet frog, which she hopes to have in the future.
In the meantime, she recently helped a friend, Adam Thompson, shop for his pet frogs Tim and Daisy.
She always has her eyes open for great frog finds, and said the best places she has found frogs are at antique shops and flea markets.
“The frogs I like to look for are cute fat frogs,” Karpich said.
“I also like tree frogs with the red eyes. They are so beautiful.”
Karpich said she plans to continue to grow her frog collection because she never can turn down a cute frog.