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Monday, July 18, 2005
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free...of Wal-Mart"
A few weeks ago "Cup of Noodles" and I headed out to Milwaukie to get a look at the Statue of Liberty replica that made the news back in March. It's located smack dab in the middle of Milwaukie, just two blocks off Mcloughlin at 4255 SE Roethe Rd, the home of DP Auto Service.
Not that we knew that this at the time. Before jumping in the car I spent a good five minutes tracking down information on the statue online. Surprisingly enough, no one out there has set up a fansite. At least not yet anyway. It's as if the locals think three-story Statue of Liberty replicas are a dime a dozen in this part of the country.
Ingrats. On the other hand, they've been pretty busy fighting off Wal-Mart.
The only information we had to work with was the photos over at "Oh Dog, You Slueth." They indicated that the statue was located behind a yellow strip mall with a Pogy's Subs. Lady Liberty's arm and torch would apparently be visible over the shop's sign.
After a fruitless drive down Mcloughlin and a side trip to the Oregon City Municple Elevator, we wound up at a 7-11. And there she was a block away. Our pit stop had obviously been orchaestrated by fate. Or dumb luck. Whatever.
The statue was simultaneously shorter and and taller than I had imagined. At 31 feet she's a good deal more petite than the one sitting on that island off the coast of Manhattan. On the other hand, it's probably the tallest man-made structure located within Milwaukie city limits.
The statue's also incredibly out of place. It sits on a brick pedestal surrounded by a slender green lagoon. Surrounding that is a sea of assorted auto body shops and pavement. And surrounding that? Milwaukie proper.
At the base of the pedestial there's a short written tribute to freedom. The owner of the statue imigrated from the Middle East and is apparently a big, big fan of the United States of America. After all, what nation on Earth allows the foreign-born to enter its borders, inadvertantly set a reproduction of one of its timeless icons on fire and only run the risk of drawing a local network affiliate and fire trucks instead of the secret police?
Not a single country that I can think of. Who says the American Dream is dead?
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!