Winged Figures of the Republic

Hoover Dam

Nevada side

March 2019

Whoa!  Hoover Dam outside of Boulder City.  This immense concrete structure was built on the Colorado River to control floods, provide irrigation water and to produce power.  You can walk across the top, from Nevada into Arizona, or the other way around.  We do both.

There are towers with strings of hanging wires everywhere.

The dam generates 2 998 000 horsepower.  My Honda generates 205 horsepower.  Those three million horses have to go somewhere and that somewhere is through all those wires to public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona and California.

On the Nevada side of the dam is a nice little display involving two aliens flanking a 142-foot tall flagpole with an American flag strung at the top.  I call these sculptures “aliens” but perhaps “humanoids” would be more appropriate.  These two seated bronze figures hold their arms/wings severely 30 feet straight up into the air in impressive, un-anatomical fashion.  Clearly these guys work out.  It has been suggested that, if they are not human, they might be angels.  I think they are simply flying humans from the future.

In the 80-some years they have been standing, or rather, sitting, the metal has aged to a splotchy greenish patina, but golly, look at the toes.  They are golden.  Must be from all the tourists rubbing them for luck.  Yes.

Go to Las Vegas, not too far away, and find there are other things you can rub for luck…

.  Caesar’s left hand at Caesars Palace

.  the Blarney Stone at The D

.  the bellies of a couple of Laughing Buddhas

.  the breasts, specifically those of Cleopatra at Caesar’s Palace or the mermaids at The Mirage

.  the boxing gloves of Joe Louis at Caesars Palace

.  the left big toe of David at Caesars Palace — the David

Many tourists believe that these various toe- or breast-rubbing rituals claim to have won their gambling games.

The sculptor, Oskar J W Hansen, believed the Hoover Dam is the architectural rival of the great pyramids and spoke and wrote lofty sentiments on the majestic achievements of man.  The dam inspired him to sculpt these atmospheric, grandiose demigods.  I’m guessing he wasn’t thinking about hitting at craps.

He said, “…They are the shadows cast by the realities of the soul.”

He said the statues represent, “the immutable calm of intellectual resolution, and the enormous power of trained physical strength, equally enthroned in placid triumph of scientific accomplishment.”

I say, What the devil was he talking about?!

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