Photo of Laura Blair and Jeremy Henson as she retrieved the hoops from him.

EDWARDSVILLE – The Hooplah Canopy carefully crafted by the Riverbend Yarn Bombers went missing late last week after the Edwardsville Arts Fair.

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The canopy was created with yarn and hoops and was utilized as a walkway covering at the fair. At the conclusion of the fair, however, a communication breakdown between the Riverbend Yarn Bombers and the City of Edwardsville caused at least one worker from the city to climb to the canopy and cut it down. That worker was spotted by Jeremy Henson as he was biking from his job as an assembly person at Home Depot.

“There was a guy taking stuff down, and I thought he was the guy who made it,” Henson said Monday morning. “I wanted to tell him how much I liked them, and say how cool they were to walk under with my girlfriend at the fair. The guy said the people did not have permission to put them up. He was an older guy – probably in his 60s or like 70 – and he grumbled a bit and cursed.”

So Henson, who had his tools on his person at that time, said he would complete the man's job if he was allowed to keep the canopy. The man taking them down agreed, and Henson said he was excited to take the canopy home with him. He said he spent at least an hour taking them apart and then stashed the yarned-up hoops by Crushed Red until his girlfriend got out of class and they could put them in her car.

Soon after getting them home to his shed, Henson said friends were telling him the Riverbend Yarn Bombers were desperately searching for their missing canopy, which they had assumed were lost to the ages when the City of Edwardsville told them the canopy was given simply to “some guy.”

Luckily for them, that “some guy” was Jeremy Henson.

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“Part of me was a little bummed, because I really liked them and spent an hour taking them down,” he said. “It didn't matter, though, when I saw how distressed they were about it, I didn't care. I wanted to give them back and pay it forward. A lot of people have been doing nice things for me lately, so I wasn't going to be a jerk about it.”

Photo of the canopy in place taken from Riverbend Yarn Bombers Facebook page

A jerk is the last thing Blair would call Henson.

“I don't have the words for how deeply grateful I am for the response and support of this episode,” Blair said in a Facebook message. “The world needs more Jeremies. The Riverbend [Yarn] Bombers chose projects that will bring art and color to the community. Everything we do, we do with love. It's overwhelming that some kindness has come home to us in the most surprising fashion.”

Blair was able to get the disassembled canopy from Henson before she went on a trip to Chicago with her best friend. The two of them got several photos of them holding hoops from the canopy in front of several well-known landmarks in the Windy City.

It was a trip for her birthday, and Henson was an integral part of why that birthday was happy for Blair after worrying about the whereabouts of one of her favorite collective works.

SUCCESS! Blair holds a hoop from the canopy in front of the Chicago Bean, for both her birthday and National Hoop Day

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