Sunday, August 13, 2006

Burton's Secret

South of Lake Charles stands a statue honoring Mr. Burton's Endowment.

Burton Coliseum is the first landmark visitors see after landing at Lake Charles Regional Airport. Standing watch in front of this structure is a statue erected in honor of the man for whom the building is named. For years people have passed this statue as they entered to attend graduations, basketball games, and rodeos, but I wonder how many have seen the secret.

I don't know Mr. Burton's history, but he must have been quite generous for his name to be so prominently hung. At some point a statue was commissioned, to show the man in as favorable light as possible, I'm sure. He is represented as a smiling man, wearing a rumpled fedora at a rakish angle, and carrying a newspaper. This feature is the key to the secret.

I have no knowledge of the artist's intentions, but one naturally envisions the sculptor critically reviewing this piece from every angle, assuring that each detail is perfectly rendered in harmony with all others. If that is so the result cannot be an oversight, but an intentional double entendre.

From most angles the statue seems innocent enough, just a kindly gentleman, casually surveying the landscape. All it takes are a few degrees of movement to reveal Mr. Burton's Endowment, and the Secret of Burton Coliseum.


turdpolisher said...

Well crafted story. You've told me about the statue, but this one brings it home.

Colonel Corn's Camera said...

Good post. You had me glued to the story then gave me a good laugh. Thanks Crumb