The story about Ray “Bubba” Sorensen and his “Freedom Rock” creations, his tribute to military men and women, show great value to the nation and [to] Iowa.
While I appreciate the work that has been done throughout the summer by various muralists, I think it’s time to paint a space in the name of history or patriotism. The space facing the depot “you are beautiful” might be a good spot. A railroad scene would fit in with the period scene to celebrate our sesquicentennial (I had to look it up) this past year.
On the patriotic side, a scene showing the despair of exhausted workers at the site of the two towers coupled with the photo of the three firemen raising the flag over the rubble during the 9/11 tragedy would serve us well.
When I was the director of Southern 9 Tourism, I contacted the newspaper to ask if I could hire someone to do a depiction of “raising the flag at ground zero” as a sculpture. They said it would be okay as long as I gave printed credit to the photographer, Thomas E. Franklin. At the time, I contacted Richard S. Beyer, the artist who created the sculpture now located in the front of the Methodist Church, about the cost of commissioning him to do the job. He never did give me an exact cost, but told me that first I would have to get permission, so I went through that process. Richard finally told me it might cost over $1,000 so I dropped that idea and it never reached the city council in 2002.
I realize these murals can cost a lot of money to paint, but I think we need something of this sort to help create some drawing power for our old hometown. I’m too old to get involved with this new younger set. These are just suggestions. We can’t move ahead without a little old-time history to help us moving forward.