You may not know about Jeff Rutt, TCG production manager
1 He’s a paper sculpture pioneer.
Jeff did his first paper sculpture in art school for a National Library week contest, which he won. His three pieces became available for schools to purchase and hang in the library.
“Looking back, they were pretty ugly,” Jeff recalls. “But at the time, paper sculpture was not well known or being done by anyone. I thought it was my idea and perhaps it was.”
Jeff began doing paper sculptures for “real” around 1990. His first one was a birthday present for Kim (our art director). He estimates he has completed well over a hundred pieces and sold or given away all but a few.
2 He is a PEZ collector of epic proportions.
At a grocery store in Ohio, during a car show many years ago, Jeff spotted his first novelty PEZ candy dispenser, with a Mario Brothers design. Thinking it was “cute,” he made the first purchase of what would become an outsized passion.
“After that trip, I went online to learn more,” he says. “That’s when I discovered Ebay and the world of people who collect these little pieces of plastic. And that’s when my collection started to grow and my wallet started to shrink.”
Jeff now owns “well over 1,000” PEZ, ranging in value from a few cents to $700. He adds current designs and could be tempted to add older ones…maybe.
“I would need to spend $200 or more on those,” he says. “The mortgage seems more important than a 1970’s Mary Poppins PEZ.”
3 He has always wanted to race cars—so he did!
A trying medical issue in 2003 led Jeff to thinking about things he had always wanted to do but, for whatever reason, had not. And that led to his “novice at best” racing adventure.
It took selling his motorcycle and a prized original 1975 MGB to get him on the road. With his wife’s blessing, he then bought a new 2004 Dodge SRT-4. He made a few more purchases…suspension work, tires, shocks, etc….to transform the car into “a big go-kart on steroids.”
“Next, I discovered racing clubs all over the country where anybody with a ‘normal’ road-worthy car can come to national tracks and race,” Jeff explains. “Really, I’m not kidding.”
His racing adventure took off from there.
“My first event was Watkins Glen, the same track that NASCAR uses and it was a blast,” he says. “I was a race car driver! Although, everyone was passing me. Racing, as it turns out, is really hard to do well.”
Jeff went on to race at Pocono raceway twice, two tracks in West Virginia and Watkins Glenn two more times. He stopped three years ago, but says he may do it again. Regardless, he can list “race car driver” on his resume. For real.