02 August 2010

Larry among friends.

Nite to Unite, Windom Courthouse Lawn
Tonight young met with old and  families gathered while their innocent children were blessed with activities of various sorts. Tonight, Windom School students stood proud for their extra cirricular activities and stood proud in hopes for their bus to be filled with supplies for teachers and students.  All of this happened among the bronzed statue of Larry Buhler, which graces the grounds of the courthouse square.  I don't think Larry is among a crowd of friends like the one tonight very often.  I can tell by his sturdy smile he is pleased by the pedestrians passing him by from time to time, but tonight he saw a good, lively crowd.  A crowd of support.  You know, I could even feel a little bit of that word I've been writing about so often: community. 

So after thinking about Larry among friends tonight, I decided to do a little research on the 8 foot statue placed on the downtown property.  I found an article online that was published in the Daily Globe not all that long ago and found some interesting information on how this statue made its way onto the courthouse lawn. Here are the facts:  Larry was a 1935 graduate of Windom Area High School and played football for the Minnesota Gophers and then played a three-year-run with the Green Bay Packers. He returned to Windom with his wife after retiring from the game (after a car accident), lead a pretty quiet life and passed in 1990 at 73 years old.  After continuing to read the article it wasn't all these facts and stories of Larry Buhler's life that stood out to me so much, but it was how a community came together to donate money to put that bronzed football player there, on that lawn, with a football and helmet in hands. 

I was surprised to see that through mostly community donations the $26,000 statue was revealed during Riverfest in 1993.  Man, I remember that day.  I was 11 years old, and of course among my 11 year old friends at the annual Riverfest celebration, and this giant thing standing so tall and mighty next to an 11 year old was covered with what looked like black tarp.  I was pretty excited to see what was under all that tape and plastic, and I can still feel my excitement and anticipation.  As the cover slowly came off, and I mean slowly, there it was, Mr. Larry Buhler, a smiling football player.  Just a smiling football player. I'd have to admit, his helmet and football gave it away that he was such.  Now forgive me if I wasn't more excited, remember, I was only eleven and among other 11 year old friends.   But thinking about it today, I guess I didn't know what to expect.

The smiley football player.
Well, Larry got me excited after my so called "research" tonight, there is more hope around the corner.  I was pleased to read a little more about this man that stands so proud on our courthouse lawn, but even more pleased to hear that my community would donate $26,000 to put a bronzed smiley football player downtown.  Although Windom could use an inexpensive facelift of paint and cleaning, I couldn't help but think of all the things we could do to our humble town with $26,000...we could give Larry something to really smile about.

Finding Windom.

Happy times.
**photo of Larry Buhler statue from Worthington Daily Globe.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to see maybe a bust of Robert Remick someday on the courthouse lawn. He has done so much for Windom and continues to do so even if he is deceased.
    Jackie Jurgens :)