Mark Pahlow: Big Daddy of Doodads talks nostalgia, creativity and death

March 04 2017

Mark Pahlow in a bathtub filled with Rubber devil ducks
This Seattle Times profile from 2004 is one the longest and most in depth profiles that ever done of our owner, Mark Pahlow, and Archie McPhee. It is full of great Mark Pahlow quotes like:
People are always attracted to other eras. I hate the word nostalgia, but I think there’s always this looking back to a point where you have probably deluded yourself that life was better, though it never really was.
On the meaning of life:
With some effort, you can make inexpensive items that look good and function well and sell them and make people happy. It gives meaning to my life. It’s profoundly fulfilling, truly creation. An idea comes out of nothingness.
And, finally, what about death and immortality? 

The businessman frequently ruminates about death. “I’m always struck by the fact we go all through our day without talking about it or acknowledging what the point is. Why are we living? What is the definition of a good life? What does it mean? When you’re gone, do you remember the world? Does the world remember you?”

Does Pahlow want to achieve immortality as the guy who brought the world hopping lederhosen?

“All over Seattle, people have our stuff,” he says. ” I look in cars all the time. There’s the Devil Duckie air freshener, our statues on the dashboard, on kitchen windowsills. We’ve been around a long time and sold millions of things, everyday 50-cent things people have chosen to keep in their lives.”


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