Andy the Footless Goose
Because he hatched with stumps for feet, Andy could neither walk nor swim like other geese. So his caretaker, a local manufacturer and inventor named Gene Fleming, designed shoes for him.
Andy's fame was assured in 1989 when he appeared on "The Tonight Show," and he was featured in People magazine. He went on to make hundreds of appearances, delighting schoolchildren, especially disabled children for whom he was something of a role model.
Horribly, in October of 1991, Andy was kidnapped and murdered. Although his head and wings were missing when he was found, he died with his trademark boots still on. His neck apparently had been broken.
Who killed Andy? The sheriff's office was bombarded with tips and suggestions. Some thought that a disgruntled former employee of Fleming's might be responsible. Others thought the dismemberment pointed to a satanic cult. Andy fans sent in $10,000 in reward money, but the murderer was never found. Some locals wanted to use the cash to erect a statue of Andy in a local playground. Others said it could be put to better use. Hastings hosts an annual art fair, and the Chamber of Commerce has asked permission to invite participants to submit sketches of an appropriate monument. But the reward money remains in a local bank.
Before Gene Fleming passed away in 2000, Jan and Ed Fowler from Holdrege donated a large black granite monument to mark Andy's final resting place on the old Fleming farm east of Hastings. It is sandblasted with Andy's likeness, briefly tells his story, and mentions his media appearances in Reader's Digest, People magazine, and on the Johnny Carson Show.