From the Chicago Tribune:
WASHINGTON—After 78 years of standing in the Capitol, Thomas Starr King is on his way out, ousted by a better-known Californian —Ronald Reagan.
A bronze statue of Reagan, who was born and raised in Illinois, will soon replace that of the relatively obscure King as one of California’s two representatives in Washington’s version of a national hall of fame. The Reagan likeness will be unveiled in a June ceremony to be attended by former First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Well, thanks to your intrepid investigative reporter (that would be me, if you were wondering), we don’t have to wait until June! I have located the sculptor’s studio, and armed with my trust digital camera, I have recorded the statues he has been working on. Fittingly, that which Ronnie loved most is reflected in the artwork. No, not Nancy! Corporations!
I like this one! It was during Ronnie’s time in office that the Clara Peller Where’s the beef? advertising campaign premiered. Perhaps, though, the question should be What the hell’s in the beef? after staff cutbacks at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service!
The state’s other representative is Father Junipero Serra, who, like King, has been a fixture in the Capitol since Herbert Hoover was president.
This one not only shows what a gentleman Ronnie was, but reminds us of his energy policies. After all, what do you fry chicken in? Oil! Ronnie said no to Jimmy Carter’s oil-reduction reforms and renewable energy and yes to offshore drilling.
While many are hailing the addition of the 40th president, some are nonetheless lamenting the departure of the Unitarian minister who rallied Californians to the Union side during the Civil War. The bumped sculpture will be moved to the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
“Those of who us who love Thomas Starr King and know about his life are really sorry to see him go,” said Rev. Roger Fritts, a minister at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Md.
This particular statue makes me think about traveling. Can you think of a better way to remind people of how Ronnie fired thousands of air traffic controllers and redefined labor relations in this country? Oh, that scamp!
The artistic renditions of King and Serra were dedicated in 1931 in the Statuary Hall collection, which includes two figures from each state.
I think I like this one the best. It shows Ronnie as the friendly guy who loved people. Well, not gay people, but everyone else. That is, if you don’t count undermining health, safety and environmental regulations, trying to abolish social security, trying to cut funding for school lunches for poor kids, and stuff like that.