PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Toby Fraley first saw the image of a Port Authority bus lodged in a sinkhole downtown he thought it was art imitating life.
“For a second I thought it was a strange art installation then I realized it was an actual bus in a hole in the city, that kind of got the wheels moving in my head,” he said.
The Bridgeville artist, however, wasn’t sold yet on drawing and producing his now-viral Christmas ornament.
“The morning after I saw that, I thought about making one of these and I thought, ‘that’s a silly idea, I’m not going to waste my time,'” he recalled. “Throughout the day, it bugged me and finally printed one out on my 3-D printer.”
That’s when interest in the ornament went viral.
Fraley won’t talk numbers but says it’s been a windfall, earning him enough money to renovate his art studio.
He said sales are going so well, new orders won’t be filled until January or February and they just keep coming.
“Amazingly, I mean a lot are obviously from Pittsburgh, but there’s at least 30 other states as far away as Hawaii,” he said.
Fraley said he would not have made the ornament if anyone had been injured in the accident.
He’ll continue to ride the wave hoping to lighten the holiday mood.
“Life can get chaotic and bizarre at times,” he explained. “I think it’s fine to focus on some weird silly things like this for a minute and get your mind off things. This will be a flash in the pan in three months, no one is going to be thinking about this anymore.”