We just realised, we opened a new online store named after Uncle Wesley and most of the customers probably have no clue who Wesley actually is. Well, he immigrated from Portland, Oregon in the end of 2013, just about three years ago and has been an essential part of our family since. When we started thinking about the theme for our store, he was an obvious choice for our mascot and eventually we named the whole store after him.
The first year Wesley spent in Finland he was basically just taking part in our family’s daily activities. Hanging out around the house, doing chores, cooking and getting to know us. Somehow his little adventures got noticed through facebook and we started taking him along when we went out for special occasions. Soon enough he was at the studio with my country band Grasshammer Deluxe. He also got to visit the top restaurant in town, Kaskis, where the chef Erik took a special liking to Wesley.
Erik was declared official godfather to Wesley and given temporary custody in 2015 when we went for a five month trip to NYC and Greece. Some of the pics we saw during this time were a bit disturbing, but the two seemed to be having fun. Wes was getting good at playing playstation, but even more, he was associated with women, alcohol and for some peculiar reason, the finnish rap scene. Considering Wesley’s upbringing in country music, seeing him hanging out with the likes of Pyhimys and Heikki Kuula seemed weird to say the least. But, like mentioned before, the guys seemed to be having a blast, so we didn’t worry too much. Eventually even the <3 Erik -tattoo proved to be temporary.
When we got back from our trip, I vividly remember Erik’s three kids giving me the cold shoulder when they had to part ways with Wesley. I remember them talking about combing his chest hairs, when I snatched Wesley away… I was organizing a two day country festival at the time and Wesley had promised to be the mascot for it. So it was time for him to leave the big party lifestyle behind and get back to his roots. This was summer 2015 and he has since continued as a mascot for the festival and also now for our store, as well as doing some modeling jobs and occasionally visiting his godfather and knocking back a couple of drinks. Actually as I was picking him up from a modeling gig at Skin Craft, a local tattoo studio, a girl I didn’t know approached Wesley and claimed they had been making out in a bar. And just the other week a friend told me that her tattoo artist was aware of Wesley too, claiming that “he’s a very well known armadillo in Turku”.
So yeah, no need to be calling the local authorities, child support or animal protective services, Wesley is a taxidermied armadillo. He’s missing a few fingers & toes and his tail is broken (although Erik did fix it with some tape while attaching a flag for the local ice hockey team to it) from his previous life in Portland. We presume he might have been a skyscraper construction worker, a pathologist or a mob godfather and a drug kingpin in his previous life. Who knows. But all the same, we do love him dearly. And we don’t have any idea if he’s actually anyone’s uncle.