I am going to suffer yet another insufferably bad photo of me to share this piece of fiberglass statuary with you all. I have made reference to the world's largest fiberglass crow on many occassions but had not, as yet, coughed up proof.
This is another of those combinations that just slays me. You see, my bird fetish is well-documented, but my strong feelings in favor of large fiberglass statuary has remained somewhat private. It took me a while to come to terms with it.
See, what I believe to be my very earliest memory is this: one of my parents placed me on the mocassin of the statue of Hiawatha which looks out over Lake Superior in Ironwood, MI. My paternal grandparents lived there. The folks wanted a photo, so whoever put me up there stepped away from me to get out of the shot. I remember how nervous I felt because I thought I'd lose my balance and fall, and furthermore, there were some holes in the fiberglass where the mesh underneath was showing that I thought I could perhaps fall through. I have a physical memory of figuring out how to maneuver my limbs if I was compelled to have to crawl down myself. I was pretty sure I would not succeed without injury.
It was dread-inspiring and kitschy fun. I was on a big foot! I could plummet to my death!
I revisited that statue of Hiawatha a couple years back and was surprised to learn that the top of the foot is just about 18 inches long or so. This means I must have been a peanut when the photo was taken, less than a year old.
Plus, anyone who hasn't visited the midwest should know that almost every small town has its fiberglass mascot. These crows are in Belgrade, MN, by the way. (Plus I'd like to mention, it was 20 below zero, Belgrade is 2 hours from the Twin Cities, and the crows were our sole destination. Al and Johanna rock.) Where I was born, Bemidji, it was Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. There are giant carp, cowboys, snowmen, milkmaids. These, evidently, define something about us. And I used to be embarrassed of that. Can you imagine?
(photo: Al Iverson)