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Bobby Cherry: Whatever you do, don't disrespect the duck

| Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Geese and kayakers flock to the waters around the Rubber Duck during its stay at Point State Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
People gather on the steps along Point State Park in Downtown see and be seen with the Rubber Duck floating in the Allegheny River, part of the Festival of Firsts on Sunday.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The three-story-wide Rubber Duck floats up the Allegheny River as it makes its arrival in Pittsburgh on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The three-story-wide Rubber Duck floats up the Ohio River before its arrival in Pittsburgh on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.

Some say, it's just a duck.

As people continue flocking to Point State Park to get a glimpse and a photo with the oversized rubber duck, others are crying foul over the giant-sized bathtub toy.

I can't seem to grasp how someone could be anti-duck? I watched as the duck made its way toward town as thousands of people filled the city's riverbanks and packed the Roberto Clemente Bridge on the duck's first visit to the United States late last month.

Many wore duck-related garb — Donald Duck, Darkwing Duck, Oregon Ducks. Others had duck ties, duck slippers, duck pants. Kids had stuffed animal ducks and squeaky rubber ducks. One man I saw had a rubber duck attached to the top of his bike helmet.

At one point, a “Let's go, duck” chant broke out.

What brought thousands of people out on the duck's inaugural night and keeps bringing others out through Oct. 20?

It's the innocence of this international art piece. Many people likely have childhood memories of playing with rubber ducks in the bathtub. I can't help but smile and join in every time I hear the song made popular by “Sesame Street” character Ernie at the sight of any rubber duck — especially one that stands 40 feet tall.

Still, some find no pleasure.

We live in a world with a lot of stressful news — terror attacks, government shutdown, war, economic uncertainty — so, a giant, yellow rubber duck floating in the Allegheny River near Point State Park — with the best skyline in the background — can offer a sense of peace to people.

For a few minutes or longer, people visiting the duck share quality time and laughs with friends, family and perfect strangers in an effort to remember good times, share stories and have great photos to show of the time when a 40-foot tall and 30-foot wide rubber duck was floating in a river in Pittsburgh.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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