Friday, February 12, 2010

Some assembly may be required

Some Assembly May Be Required Christmas in February: Lady Liberty has been unwrapped, but as the packages always say, "some assembly may be required." This is what she'll look like when she's assembled.
In 1979 the statue made its first appearance on Lake Mendota, in fulfillment of a campaign promise by student government candidates Jim Mallon and Leon Varjian, heads of the Pail and Shovel Party, who had promised to bring the Statue of Liberty to Madison. The original was torched by an unknown arsonist. Pail and Shovel made another, but it was exhibited only one more season before going into storage. It was erected one more time in 1996, and then until last year, it was just a nostalgic memory.
Last year -- on the 30th anniversary of its first appearance -- it was reassembled for the first time in more than a decade by the University of Wisconsin Hoofers. Now it's returning to Lake Mendota for the second year in a row, in connection with the Hoofers Winter Carnival. Will its appearance on the lake become an annual event. That depends. The required assembly takes a lot of volunteers.
[Hoofer’s Vice President of Programs Mindy] Cummings said Hoofers hopes to make the statue a yearly tradition, though the logistical hassles of assembling it are substantial. [...] She added the key to getting the statue assembled is having enough volunteers, and if future years do not see enough people willing to help, there will probably not be a future for the statue.
Hope they find the resources. Winter wuldn't be the same without Lady Liberty on the lake.


Cheezman said...

"Pail and Shovel" party because Mallon and Varjian promised to turn the entire budget of the student government into pennies, dump it into Memorial Fountain and turn the students loose with pails and shovels. They also "promised" to declare war on Chippewa Falls so that UW could gain control over the Leinenkugel brewery.

I wonder though what this all says about those late 70's times? Such frivolity and lack of seriousness in these affairs was a novelty and perhaps was a postwar tonic to Vietnam?

The unknown arsonist was actually well known at the time among a certain west side group of Madison Memorial grads. In a way this frivolous act was indicative in the same vein as the P and S folks: Attention for attention's sake.

Thanks for the WayBack machine post.

Cheezman said...

Sorry for the redundancies. I should read your links before I post.