Do you think it’s worth spending $4000 on a monument which will send the middle finger to the whole town? Westford ted pelkey, Vermont did.
His regular-sized hand was probably no longer effective, so he commissioned the statue to stand as a disheartening version of the Angel of the North or the Statue of Liberty over the residents.
After the fight came his decision to acquire a permit that would allow him to build a garage.
“For the last 10 years we’ve been trying to put up a business there. It is simply never-ending. City officials discussed the project at length, and a member of the board maintained that “this development as proposed will cause the neighbors to suffer and lower property values in the area.”
Therefore, locked up in a bitter dispute with Westford County, he decided to take matters into his own “hands” by erecting a massive middle finger monument for all of them to see.
Pelkey also hoped his middle finger monument would “get it through to the people of Westford to have a really good look at the people who run their town.” Ten years ago, he wanted to build an 8,000 square foot garage, so he could move his truck repair and monofilament recycling company to his own house, rather than operating in the nearby town of Swanton.
The Westford Selectboard and Planning Review Board, however, stopped him from getting a licence. He struggled for ten years but they kept hearing no, again and again.
Thus the middle finger is directed at the leaders of the town.
Unfortunately, this argument will be receivable by several others.
Pelkey wanted the garage to be designed so he could move his vehicle repair and recycling company from nearby Swanton to his own house.
He commissioned the statue for $4000 when he was turned down. It is made of a pine block of 700 pounds and stands on top of a pole that is 16 feet high.
“I’ve been put through the wringer by these people, and it’s just not right. I haven’t been treated fairly at all. I was sitting at a bar and said to my wife, ‘Hey, I want to get a statue made of a middle finger, and I’m going to put it up on the lawn’.
The finger is surrounded by floodlights so it is visible at all times of the day and night.
He thought he would be pressured by town officials to take it down, but apparently they can’t. Westford banned advertisements, but since the massive middle finger statue isn’t an advertising business, free speech protects it.
The monument belongs to the public art group and the owner said it is’ the most wonderful thing I’ve ever been told in my life.’ He explained that the statue is not devoted to the residents of the city:
“It was critical to me to make sure that my neighbors and the people who live in this town understood that I didn’t put that up there for them. It is aimed directly at the people who sit in our town office.
I’m not trying to cause hate and animosity to the people who live in that town, because there’s very good people in that town. All the people are very good people.”
He does not plan to take the statue soon, and even hopes that some good will come from the way he has shed light on the dispute.
“If you don’t want to look at the [garage], look at this.”
People on social media commented on the statue, and while some claim it was in poor taste, others state that it was a valiant piece of protest.
In an editorial, the Caledonian Record said it gave the town credit for “making the appropriate read of Pelkey’s First Amendment rights.”