Monday, August 8, 2011

Metal-Working & Paper-Pushing


Things have been hectic around the barn. Two months and five thousand miles can leave their mark.

To give the cross a proper final polish our hale and hearty metal workers have not been holding back. As of this afternoon three pieces of the cross lie on a thick blue padded blanket, shined and ready to go; the two parts that make up the arms are being touched up under the skilled hand of Anthony Serrao; the heart of the cross, a huge four-pointed star, leans up against a saw horse as Jon grinds it down and buffs it out and polishes it up once again. Thursday is indeed approaching fast, so fast that Jon has had to put yours truly in charge of sticking an orbital sander to the broad, blemished surface of the ten-foot-tall stainless steel base.

The all-important permit process continues to evolve as well. Surprisingly enough, Jon will not be able to simply show up in Manhattan with a 28-foot sculpture and a crane; sticklers from some city department are demanding paperwork and payment. (Unlike the other eight thousand people we’ve met, these strident rule and regulation types seem utterly emotionally unmoved by Jon’s undertaking.)

All joking aside, we have entered the homestretch and have plenty yet to accomplish. From early morning to late at night Jon and Anthony are making monumental, incremental strides in readying the cross for its upcoming unveiling. The generator is humming. Sounds of squealing, grinding metal fill the air, reverberating in this cavernous thirty-tress barn. It’s pizza for dinner again.

What an incredible, unbelievable journey.