The Historical Figures To Be Turned Into Giant Puppets For Calatrava Bridge Bow

barefootsanders1.jpg
Barefoot Sanders
I seem to recall there was some discussion in October about West Dallasites famous enough to include in that parade of giant puppets scheduled to march across the Margaret Hunt Hill during opening-weekend festivities planned for early March -- ah, yes, there it is. So happens the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce, which is throwing the Bridge-O-Rama rama, has in fact posted the list of folks due to be rendered as "oversized, hand-carried figures ... giant creatures," and who will do the carrying 'cross the Calatrava.

The way I found it: La Reunion TX and the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce are in the hunt for artists who can help out with the hand-craftin', and there's a how-to workshop scheduled for January 12. Schutze has already signed up. He was heading to Ray's anyhow.

Anyway. Here's where you'll find the who and why come. But long story short, they aren't exactly celebrity celebrities -- except, of course, for Bonnie and Clyde, everyone's first and last guess back in October. Nope, this is a more historical journey from past to present to future; hence the inclusion of former Dallas City Council member Mattie Nash, federal judges Jerry Buchmeyer and Harold "Barefoot" Sanders, Victor Considérant (founder of the La Réunion colony), Julien Reverchon, Sarah Cockrell, Rhoda Dragoo and other important far=more-than-footnotes who "made a lasting impression on the culture and narrative of West Dallas."
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16 comments
randy from sachse
randy from sachse

How about some unsavory notables that hail(ed) from the other side the ditch:Lee Harvey Oswald, Mike Rhyner, and Dennis Rodman.

Although of the 3, I'd prefer Lee Harvey at a dinner party.

Don Abbott
Don Abbott

How 'bout the 12 year-old who was fatally shot in the back of a Dallas police car while handcuffed, sparking the only real riot Dallas has ever seen.  Wasn't he from West Dallas?  I think it was 1973.  Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to the cop...he got five years and served three.

Heavy Metal Church Lady
Heavy Metal Church Lady

This is not appropriate nor dignified. Why not ask living relatives or friends to walk on their behalf and be honored on the bridge? How friendly are we to living people who make a difference like Luis Sepulveda? The walk honoring those people (and Sepulveda) is a great idea, everything else is carnivalesque.

This makes a mockery of people who have contributed (however controversial they were and are); it makes a mockery of art--most precisely, a mockery of regional artistic efforts (we'll let you participate but you'll need to make big puppets). 

Any serious artist would not only decline to participate in this endeavor but they would speak out on the reasons it is not appropriate. I get the concept:  larger than life people = larger than life puppets. The only way this could work with any shred of dignity is to have oversized photographs that are realistic representations--and to share their story on the bridge as part of the official celebration. 

Anything less is selling out the dignity of those people's contributions and the dignity of artistic practice. Giant puppets work in political protest because they're caricatures; they don't work on a more solemn occasion as a way to bridge high and low art (pardon the intentional pun.) 

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak

Which would be cool except that what you obviously dont get, like most CHURCH LADIES, is that this event aint meant to be solemn. It aint about HONORING anybody.

It's just a historical procession of puppets of people who had some impact on the area. Doing living people like Luis Sepulveda would be REALLY creepy. Like some military propaganda parade in Korea, or something.

And, oh, it appears lots of serious artists have and are signing up to participate. Get over yourselves. Most people get it. It's just a fun parade, not some solemn tribute. And many of the descendants are participating so who are you to tell them what is dignified for their relative?

Chamber
Chamber

The Parade of Giants seems like a funny idea that has gone mainstream, overly clever and trite.  Mixing local celebrities who made positive contributions with local historical figures who murdered people is insulting to the residents of West Dallas, odd, awkward and offensive to many others.  No doubt many people will think it's cool and have a lot of fun being amazed by giant Bonnie and Clyde puppets being carried through a neighborhood that was harmed by them only a few decades ago.  

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

How about a giant Beretta shotgun to honor Ray's Hardware and Sporting Goods?

Doug
Doug

Why is it that EVERY time I read something about this bridge I either laugh my arse off or groan in dispair?  (This one is a LMAO moment.)  There must be something wrong with me.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

I'm afraid you suffer from an advanced case of rational thought, and will never make it as a Dallas power broker.

G_David
G_David

"oversized, hand-carried figures ... giant creatures"  Are you sure that The Onion isn't your source for this information?  This just sounds... terrrrrible.

claytonauger
claytonauger

What about one for Luis Sepulveda? Organized the first independent, multi-racial coalition in West Dallas that just happens to be the reason the giant RSR lead smelter got classified as a Superfund Site and was forced to clean-up, removing a public health threat and a eyesore form the community. Then he ran for office, won, got snookered out of office by suspicious absentee votes, and was the primary catalyst for the indictment of a large part of the old corrupt political machine that's dominated the Mexican American community for two or more generations. More than qualifies as a West Dallas hero. 

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

They need to hurry up and finish the western connection to Singleton otherwise all those puppets will fall about 10 feet into a muddy ditch.

guest
guest

Or wait a bit and invite the Kardashian clan  to walk across it!

Larry
Larry

Can someone snap a picture of Tom Leppert applauding as the Barefoot Sanders puppet marches by? It's a great photo op for him that will help enormously in his bid to become the next Republican Senator from Texas.

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