Friday, June 23, 2006

The Crow on the Left Weighs 3,000 Pounds


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)

6 comments:

Kate said...

I might have seen that Paul Bunyan as a small child, but it also might have been another one. Are there many Paul Bunyans? In any case, I am also in favor of large fiberglass sculptures, and I love the picture of you.

paula said...

There are many, many Bunyans: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/set/bunylist.html
but this one's got Babe. And a carnival.

Al Iverson said...

I have a fondness for that adventure, and for those pictures of you with the crow.

I'm proud of you for talking about a previously secret (but not to me) passion, but I'm likely more proud of you for posting a picture of yourself.

How are you feeling about that?

Kate said...

Paula, I'll have to ask my dad which one it would have been. I can't imagine we went all the way to Bemidji, but none of the others in Minnesota sound right. Definitely had Babe, no carnival that I remember. Might have been in Wisconsin.

paula said...

Al, Sometimes a girl's just got to let go of vanity and admit it's all about the crows. That's how I feel about it. I do apologize for leaving out the important detail that is this: Al chauffered me out to Belgrade, which is two hours from the Twin Cities, on a 20 below day. And I repaid him in cheese curds. Awesome.

Kate said...

Consulted Dad. It was in Minocqua, Wisconsin, and it wasn't even a proper statue: http://www.paulbunyans.com/customers/2005/customer8.htm

Sigh.