The soldier finally went out last week, just in time for Veteran’s Day tomorrow. It was installed in Keesville, NY. Keesville is a small town on the edge of the Adirondack Park, and let me tell you, this statue is probably the most beautiful thing (and I hope I’m not offending the good people of Keesville when I say this) that this town has. Here is a picture of the site before installation.
As you can see, not much going on. In the next shot you will see the crane set up next to the installation site. It was a 40-ton crane, which is roughly the weight of the entire monument.
Here is a shot of the first section of the base being installed. The straps were a little long in my opinion. In the end the length doesn’t affect maneuverability. In the next photo, we have the background section of the base being installed, with Jerry doing big arms (Eddie Izzard reference).
Here we have the trickiest part of the whole installation. The problem is simple, you can’t remove the straps without leaving a space between the two stones (blocking), and everything has to fit perfectly. The blocking here creates a pivot point for the stone to rock (no pun intended) backwards, and the blocking is then removed with the help of two steel bars temporarily drilled into the front end.
The crane then lifted up the front end of the base so the blocking could be removed, and we then registered the background by hand! This was made possible by putting a layer of silicone (which also protects agains weathering/lichen getting into the cracks) between the two sections. This was enough lubrication to move the 7-ton block by hand. Amazing.
Lastly, the soldier was installed into the base. The original block has been reconstructed.
On the right we have the man who commission the sculpture. He’s got a pretty sweet junkyard full of old army trucks and other scrap (which he turned into a pretty lucrative business) to match that jacket.
Here we have Jerry and the Lord of Keesville himself. For the final photo, an epic sepia photo. Looks like its been there for generations…