Last fall I began looking around for a winter project; something to do inside during cold weather. Reluctantly, I decided on writing a third novel. I say reluctantly because of the time and effort involved. Now, nearing the end of June, I have yet to finish the first draft, getting close but not there yet.
The plot revolves around an incident where the President of the United States, having an American Indian heritage, comes to Tulsa, Oklahoma to dedicate the completetion of a huge piece of artwork, a statue depicting a young Indian brave with an eagle on his arm. The statue was to be named, The American. An al-Qaida sympathizer is also directed to Tulsa to plant a roadside bomb in an assassination attempt. Naturally, the bad guy passes through the territory of my favorite protaginist, Sheriff Lester P. Morrison of Cimarron County.
I didn’t make up the part about the statue. When I began writing the story last fall, The American was real but little more than an artist’s dream. There was a lot of talk about building it somewhere northwest of downtown Tulsa, but money was tight and the project never got off the ground…until now.
Headline: Tulsa World, June 20, 2013: ‘American’ in Sand Springs
The Sand Springs Home has donated 40 acres of heavily wooded land for the 217-ft. bronze statue called ‘The American,’ about 3 miles north of Sand Springs near the T-intersection of Oklahoma 97 and McKinley Avenue.
Did you catch the part about the 217 feet? For comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 111 ft. 6 in. The American will be mounted on a 3 to 8 story base making it roughly half the height of the downtown BOK building, visible for miles. Plans include an inside elevator to take the curious to a two-story internal gallery and an observation platform. The artist, Shan Gray, predicts 2.2 million visitors a year. TWO POINT TWO MILLION! Than’s more people than visit Rocky Mountain National Park.
Would you care to guess how far this behemoth will stand from your’s truly humble abode? According to Google Earth, a mere 1.3 miles., that’s how far. Sweet Baby Jesus. I won’t be able to make a beer run to Sand Springs without dealing with traffic jams and parking lots. Not only that, but I fully expect the artist, Shan Grey, to sue me for using the name of his statue in my novel.
If you ask me the whole situation is well, un-American.