Wade-ing a Family Affair by Carole Murdock

A little boy’s mom bought him some Star Wars figures when he was in kindergarten. He had to have them all! That same year his mom started her collection of Wade. The mother & son were Rayann & Ed Rucker. Their collecting continues to this day, only it is Rayann’s Wade collecting that has remained their bond throughout the years.

In 1983, Ed & his sister purchased a set of WhimsieLand from my business partner Valerie and me for his mom for Christmas. He reminded me that they had to add a Mouse Happy Family to meet our $25 minimum order. He was 13 at the time.

Ed continued buying Wade for his mother and began his collection by keeping the pieces his mother did not want. When he got engaged, he presented his fiancé Bev with a gift of a My Fair Lady. That summer he and Bev traveled to Colorado and visited Valerie and me to buy more of the Ladies.

Ed and Bev went to San Antonio to their first Wade Fair in 1999. Their sons went with them and Quenton, 3, started his Wade collecting by telling the dealers that his favorite Wade was the one he didn’t have!!

Not a year later, Ed & Bev organized their own Wade Fair in Grain Valley, MO, close to their home in Hoxie, KS. The Fair was held at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall and their first commissions were the fair pieces: brass and green armadillos. They held their second fair in Kansas City in 2001 where they introduced their second commission, a set of Wizard of Oz figurines. One of the highlights of the event was the entrance of the Rucker boys, Tabor and Quentin as the Lion and the Tin Man with their friend Kameron as the Scarecrow.

Bev and Ed joined with Wade lovers Judi and Brian Morris in 1999 and formed KS Wader. After many successful commissions, the couples parted in 2007 as Ed and Bev decided to specialize in the small Wade Whimsies. They are now Happy Wade-ing and have delighted collectors with nursery rhyme characters, leprechauns, many animals not previously done by Wade and their current Christmas Circus Seals.

To date, Ed and Bev have commissioned from Wade 19 models and 60 colorways under the KS Wader name plus 16 models and 77 colorways under the Happy Wade-ing name.

They have also produced 4 amazing children: Quenton 14, Tabor 12, Victoria 9, and Elyssa 4, perhaps their most precious personal commissions.


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