My ears perked up much like Coun. Charlie Cornfield’s did at Monday’s council meeting when I first heard they were replacing Logger Mike, the downtown carving that pays tribute to Campbell River’s forestry heritage.
What! Not that I’m that sentimental about it but the carving has been there so long and as a newsperson, my radar went off on a potential furore in the making. My Spidey Sense started tingling, so to speak.
But alas, it’s not as bad as you might think, although it still has the potential to get everybody’s dander up. There’s still a chance.
I guess the idea is that a carver has been lined up and as soon as the city forks over some money, a new Logger Mike will be carved. Because, you see, a time comes in every carving’s life when the ravages of wind, rain and snow become too much for even poly filla to cover. Another coat of shellac just ain’t gonna do it.
However, carving a new Logger Mike is a bit of a surprise. When were they going to tell us that? We only found out because Shoreline Arts Society president Marcia McKay mentioned it in passing at Monday’s city council meeting. The society has been approached to carve a new Mike. It appears they even have a carver lined up.
Which raises all kinds of issues in my mind. Will the new Mike be carved with a chainsaw? If it doesn’t turn out very good you can bet the term “chainsaw massacre” is going to be used to describe him somewhere, sometime.
Of course, if you look at the top carvings at the Transformations on the Shore carving competition, you know it’s probably going to look pretty good. The talent on display every summer is pretty impressive. I’m just a little concerned that the carver may, you know, get a little carried away and Logger Mike might be depicted sage-like with long hair and a long beard, leaning over his staff like some sort of Gandalf. My favourite Transformations carvings are those bearded old men that are often done.
Mike, as we know all too well, is depicted as a faller looping a rope around a trunk, boots strapped to two big spikes to facilitate climbing to the top of a spar.
What will our new Mike look like if the artists of the Transformations on the Shore competitors take a stab at him? Will he be a shirtless Saxon warrior gripping a battle axe and shield?
Or maybe he’ll look more like a naked Sasquatch!
What if Jesse Toso does it! Will he be more spider-like, creeping up the pole like the arachnid on the wall beside the Tidemark Theatre entrance?
I’m joking, of course. The range of imagination on display every summer at the Shoreline Arts Society’s annual chainsaw carving competition is always delightful and awe-inspiring.
It just feels funny to think that Logger Mike – who has presided over the daily comings and goings of Campbell Riverites for the last 30 years (why did we let that anniversary pass last year without acknowledgement?) – won’t be up there any more.
Sure, they can try and replicate him but it won’t be the same Mike. Will it?
This calls for a committee! Although, we all know what happens to things that are designed by a committee. Maybe Mike will be depicted as a Sasquatch transforming into a Saxon fantasy-warrior being picked up by a flaming dragon-eagle with a golden salmon-halibut in its beak!
The mind boggles with the possibilities.