It was a sad day in Rhode Island after the announcement of George Cardono’s passing. Some know him as a brother, a husband, a father, or a golf connoisseur, but most know him as the man who created Nibbles Woodaway, the "Big Blue Bug."

According to the obituary, Cardono was “an extremely creative and talented man.” He worked in the outdoor sign industry before starting his own advertising agency in Providence and New York. He was very involved in politics and owned the Pawtucket Indians baseball team in the 1960s. He had a passion for golf and even designed and built nine additional holes at Hillside Country Club in Rehoboth.

After reading about Cardono’s life, it’s clear that he was a well-rounded gentleman and family man that had a love of creating everlasting art for everyone to enjoy. I remember being in the car with my parents as a young girl and saying, “There’s the bug!” every time we passed it. And every holiday season, I look forward to the lighting of Nibbles' red nose and intertwined Christmas lights. The nose was missing in 2020, but it was replaced by a COVID-19 mask, so I’ll let that slide.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized Nibbles was just a clever advertising tactic. Truthfully, for many years of my life, I just thought it was an eye-catching creation that watched over I-95.

Rhode Island lost a true creator today, but he lives on through the hearts of his friends, his family, and his timeless creations that will be staples in Rhode Island for years to come.

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