This week Nicole and I celebrated 15 years of marriage and I’m certain nothing in my life compares to this achievement. It’s too easy to wrap myself around the other stuff in life and take her for granted. We’ve had so many journeys in our life, tasted hard times and been blessed with good times and good friends. We’ve come through together and I hope that speaks for itself. Speaking of concrete and built to last…
You’ve read the Noah’s Ark Story. Maybe you’ve seen the movie “Field Of Dreams”. Now let me introduce you to another visionary handyman neighbor: Kenneth Fox.
Kenneth Fox is an ordinary dentist, well sort of. He’s a dentist by day but he will leave his work behind in a much bigger way. You might have passed his work on your way to Lake Tahoe. Usually, once a week, I pass a few of his statues during a run through the streets of town. If you look at my training log you will see an entry for Amazon Archer and probably wonder what the heck is an Amazon Archer run? Well, let me try to show you. Just so you can picture the scale of some of his statues, these are not 10 feet pieces from Home Depot, sitting in an obscure courtyard, these are giant concrete sculpted dinosaur size statues that you will see towering around Auburn. If you have ever driven by Auburn on Interstate 80, you can’t miss his 45 ton gold miner statue that sits in Old Town just a few feet from the Interstate.
Fox started forming his monument family in the 60’s but since some of the figures do not sport clothes, the people in Auburn didn’t immediately take to his expression of art. Legend has it that school buses were rerouted so that kids avoided passing the nude statues. The Amazon Archer must be his largest and probably is over 40 feet tall and stands next to a couple other statues that tower next to his dentist office across the street from a 7-Eleven in town. So once a week, usually my route will take me through the streets of town and I will pass three different pieces of his work:
The Chinese Coolie
- Created in 1972
- 22 Feet Tall
- Contains 1 Mile of Reinforced Steel Rebar
- 35 Cubic Yards of Concrete
- Weighs 70 Tons
The Amazon Archer
- Created in 1973
- 42 Feet Tall
- Contains 1.5 Mile of Reinforced Steel Rebar
- Weights 120 Tons
The Gold Miner
- Created in 1975
- Designed after Claude Chana (1811 – 1882). He was the first to discover gold in the area on May 16, 1848.
- Weighs 42 Tons
- Sold for $8,000
The scope of his work is pretty amazing. So next time you pass through Auburn, take a few minutes and explore some of the statues that stand around town. Here’s a guy who built these in his spare time. Makes me question what am I doing in my spare time? Right now, I’m learning how to build Android applications.