Saturday, January 3, 2009

UGA Iron Horse in Greene County

I had to drive close to four hours on New Years Day to pick up one of my son's friends in Watkinsville GA. We had lived in the Greensboro/ Madison area a couple of years ago, and still have many wonderful friends from that region. And there are LOTS of wonderful characters and stories from the area that we still enjoy.

Do you know about the Abbott Pattison Iron Horse?

It sits in a field just off Highway 15, just across the Oconee River yet inside the Greene County area just before you cross into Oconee County. In the winter it is relatively easy to see. In the late summer it is a fun challenge to find as the farm usually has tall corn in the field where the horse stays.

Originally the horse sat on the UGA campus in the mid '50's, but the students didn't treat the horse well. So, it was moved rather quickly after it's debut at UGA, and by the late '50's found its home on the farm of a UGA professor. Check out that picture again. Can you believe this thing was THAT controversial?! If I think much about the 1950's in Georgia and the world I realize there may have been any number of more important happenings to engage our energy and emotion.

I've always been curious about this sculpture/relic of a different time. Was it really just a few drunk fraternity boys that caused the trouble or more of a mob mentality against the horse? Was this merely a common ignorance of that time and place, or more about the ignorance of the sculptor as to how his art would be received by the locals? And to make this a more current discussion, are we any different today?! Are there Iron Horses today that consume our energy and emotion, yet which in retrospect will seem a rather ridiculous waste of energy. Even in 2009 I suspect there may be some Iron Horses among us.

I'm curious what you make of this odd story from the recent past. I'm curious if you see any Iron Horses in our world today?

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