Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rapid City, South Dakota

This city was founded in 1876, two years after gold was discovered in the Black Hills.  Now the town serves as a trading center and tourist headquarters for the Black Hills.  The historic area is replete with many shops offering gold jewelry and Native American artifacts for sell.  Rapid City has also become known as a city of presidents.  In my last posting I mentioned that South Dakota was a place of "great faces and great places".  The great faces was in reference to Mount Rushmore which has the heads of four of our presidents carved on it.  Rapid City, in 1999, decided to continue with the theme of the presidents and place all of the presidents on the town's street corners.  Initially five South Dakota sculptors agreed to assist with the project, and by the year 2000 the first four United States presidents were placed on the street corners of Rapid City.  In October 2010 the project was completed with all the presidents in place except our current president.  President Obama will join the rest when he completes his term.  John and I took a walking tour of all of the presidents yesterday and were amazed at the attention given to the details of each president.  Extensive research had certainly been done into the lives of the presidents, as each statue seems to capture the essence of its particular president- whether it was a particular pose which they usually took, or some historic event which defined their years in office.  Pictured below is Abraham Lincoln with his son Tad.  Tad shows a boy's innocence in playing with a toy cannon while his father is depicted holding a telegram from the front lines which informs him of the number of casualties from the latest Civil War battle.
President Jimmy Carter is portrayed as a casual man of the people.  His jacket is off and his tie is flying in the wind.  While I was taking his picture a young lad came up and asked me who that was.  After I gave him the name of the president he repeated the name shyly, as if he was familiar with Carter.  His mom then came up and explained that her son, Miquel, knew some of the presidents.  I am sure that I did not know any of them at his age!
Rapid City also did not forget its Native Americans, many of whom live in the area.  The sculpture "We Are All Related" is a carving of an Indian head with an eagle on top of it.  There is a lot of symbolism in the art work- the eagle is for all flying creatures, a turtle on the man's chest is for a long productive life, a grizzly bear for wisdom and healing, and crossed peace pipes for peace.  The original drawing was done by Richard Under Baggage. Today we plan to see Mount Rushmore

No comments:

Post a Comment