According to today's Chronicle, Harold Bachman has passed away. You probably don't know who Harold Bachman was, but you know his designs. Or, more specifically, you know about the big fiberglass dog heads he once designed.
It turns out that Mr. Bachman is the man who designed the Doggie Diner heads. Bay Area natives know all about these things. Once upon a time, there were quite a few Doggie Diners in the area, and each had one of these big, spinning fiberglass dog heads sitting atop them. (I believe our local Doggie Diner was on the corner of Hesperian Boulevard and Lewelling Road in San Lorenzo. I don't recall ever eating at a Doggie Diner, but that might be because my parents and grandparents had the good sense not to feed stuff served under a giant rotating dog head to children.
As the Doggie Diners around the area were put to sleep, these huge dachsund heads with their chef hats and bow ties became collectors items. As it would turn out, Mr. Bachman himself got his paws on one of these things in the '70s. Now, not everybody has the space to properly store a 12-foot-high dog head -- not even Mr. Bachman. But enterprising minds know how to solve problems, and Mr. Bachman was no different.
From the obituary:
Another of the dogs was salvaged in the 1970s by Mr. Bachman himself, and he installed it in the bedroom of his young son, Will.
"It scared me sometimes," Will Bachman recalled. "I'd wake up in the middle of the night and see that thing staring at me from the corner of my bedroom. It could be frightening."
To this day, Will Bachman -- who probably only owns cats, thanks to his dear old dad -- presumably can't be in the presence of a dachsund without breaking into a cold sweat.