Monday, March 10, 2008

i absolutely TOLD you this story was true

and peshaw, you didn't believe me THEN - here's my ORIGINAL noah webster finger posting. now the courant backs me up
(told ya those west hartford matrons are NOTHIN' to be messin' wit)

By WILLIAM WEIR Courant Staff Writer

Since late last year, the statue of Noah Webster in West Hartford has returned to its perch in front of the town library, overlooking South Main Street.Newly lit, on a pedestal, and with a new forefinger where once there was a stump, it's a new start for Noah. Like a lot of public art, the memorial to the pioneer lexicographer and West Hartford native has had an unusual relationship with his community. For one reason or another, monuments can elicit an odd mix of reactions from the public.It was tough from the beginning in Noah's case, and we can trace his troubles back to sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. Unknown at the time, the young artist moved to town from Boston and volunteered his services in the 1930s to build the statue after reading of Webster's work on the American dictionary. The town didn't have much to offer Ziolkowski, but officials agreed to pay for the expense of the limestone monument.From the get-go, things were a little shaky. Arguments erupted over whether Noah should sit or stand. Construction added to the rancor, because of the all-day noise of drills and hammers. Ziolkowski's working on Sundays didn't go over well, either.The completed work didn't end the Webster memorial's troubles. Specifically, there was his pointing forefinger. Considered vaguely phallic by many, some thought it was Ziolkowski's attempt to get the last laugh on the town. In any case, it was all but an invitation for pranks..............

picture: NOAH WEBSTER'S FICKLE FINGER may have a better fate now that it’s been reconstructed on the native son’s memorial in West Hartford's Blue Back Square. But already word is that the formidable finger is attracting a new generation of pranksters who dress it up with condoms. (PATRICK RAYCRAFT / March 5, 2008)


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