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What's a Gummy Lump? Where did you get the name Gummylump?

What's a Gummy Lump?

This has to be the most frequently asked question that we get! It is a cute and funny name for a company, isn't it? We got the idea for naming our company Gummy Lump from the following story that came from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum. The book is a collection of short stories that reveal life's larger meaning. One story in particular always stuck with me:

"Watched a man setting up a Valentine's Day display in a store window. It's the middle of January, but the merchants need to get a jump on love, I guess. Don't get me wrong -- merchants are fine folks. They give us choices and keep us informed on the important holidays. How would you know it was Halloween or Valentine's Day or Mother's Day early enough to do something about it, if merchants didn't stay on the job?

The other group I count on is kindergarten teachers. They always know about holidays, and when it comes to valentines and other evidence of love, no merchant can compete with them. What the kindergarten teachers set in motion, no merchant could sell -- it's beyond price -- you can't get it at the store. What I'm talking about here is something I think of as the gummy lump. Once it was a shoebox, decorated and given to me by the oldest child. Then it became a repository of other relics of childhood given to me by the younger children. The shoebox became my treasure chest in time. Its components are standard: Three colors of construction paper -- pink and red and white -- faded now, aluminum foil, orange tissue paper, several paper doilies, three kinds of macaroni, gumdrops, jelly beans, some little white hearts (the kind that taste like Tums) with words on them, and the whole thing held together with a whole big lot of white library paste, which also tastes like Tums.

Anyhow, this shoebox isn't looking too very good now. It's a little shriveled and kind of moldy where the jelly beans and gumdrops have run together. It's still sticky in places, and most of it is more beige than red and white. If you lift the lid, however, you will begin to know what makes me keep it. On folded and faded and fragile pieces of large-lined school paper, there are words: "Hi daddi" and "Hoppy valimtime" and "I lov you." A whole big lot of "I lov you." Glued to the bottom of the box are twenty-three X's and O's made out of macaroni. I've counted them more than once. Also scrawled in several places the names of three children.The treasures of King Tut are nothing in the face of this. Have you got something around the house like a gummy lump? Evidence of love in its most uncomplicated and most trustworthy state? You may live a long, long time. You may receive gifts of great value and beauty. You may experience much love. But you will never believe in it quite as much as you believe in the gummy lump. It makes your world go round and the ride worth the trouble.

The three children are grown up now. They still love me, though it's harder sometimes to get direct evidence. And it's love that's complicated by age and knowledge and confusing values. Love, to be sure. But not simple. Not something you could put in a shoebox. This sticky icon sits on a shelf at the top of my closet. Nobody else knows it's there. But I do. It is a talisman, a kind of cairn to memory, and I think about it every morning as I dress. Once in a while I take it down from the shelf and open it. It is something I can touch and hold and believe in, especially when love gets difficult and there are no small arms around my neck anymore.

Oh, sure, this is the worst kind of simpleminded, heartrending Daddy-drivel imaginable. I've probably embarrassed us both by telling you. But it's beats hell out of a mood ring or a mantra when it comes to comfort. I have no apology. The gummy lump stands for my kind of love. Bury it with me. I want to take it with me as far as I go."

Are your eyes tearing?

It's a great little story, isn't it?

As I said, it really stayed with me. Then, years later when we were trying to come up with a name for our business we had narrowed it down to 3 or 4. I secretly wanted to name it Gummy Lump but I was embarrassed to say it out loud because it seemed so silly. But, you've just read the story...it's beautiful, not silly right? So, when our corporation was being set up the attorney asked us what the official name would be. We couldn't decide so we let the attorney decide. I gave him the 3 or 4 names we'd been thinking of and he didn't seem too keen on any of them -- and then I hesitantly added "or Gummy Lump."

That name he liked but he said "What's a Gummy Lump?"

That's the story behind the name of our company. Now you know that we're "Gummy Lump" and you know why, but we still giggle when people continue to call us "Gummy Lumps", "Gumpy Lump", "Gummy Rump" and "Gumpy Lumpy". We even get letters addressed to "Grumpy Lump"!


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