Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paint It Black

Take a close look at this statue. Know what it's made of? Car bumpers! It's in the very nearby city of Charlottesville, and we affectionatly refer to him as "Bumper Man". He ponders in front of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and was made by a priest, Father Henry Mascotte, in the 1960's. It depicts a meditating Thomas Aquinas, and was created totally out of car bumpers and auto salvage. Being Mennonite, I have many Mennonite/Amish stories, and here's one about bumpers. There is an old order group of Mennonites who decided it was alright to use cars many years ago. No more buggies for them. But the thing was, some cars were just so stylish and... well...worldly. All that flashy chrome, you know. So they bought cars as plain as they could find, and painted the bumpers, grilles, and hubcaps black. Small groups are still around in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and a few other states. And the secular world calls them "Black Bumper Mennonites". They're friendly, so say hi if you BUMP into one.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

Isaiah 43:18,19


Glenda said...

Interesting piece of art, Ginny! I love your stories about the Mennonites, whom I enjoy learning about.

Your Scripture is very appropriate for this time of year with all the newness of Spring.

Have a great week!

SquirrelQueen said...

That is an amazing statue, I can't even imagine how much work went into such a piece. I am also enjoying hearing your Mennonite stories.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gorgeous statue, Ginny... AND --can you imagine the creativity it took to make that thing out of car parts???? Mercy Me!!!!!

Funny story about the Black Bumper Mennonites.... It made me chuckle...

Hope you had a fabulous weekend. We certainly did.

DawnTreader said...

Wow. I would never have guessed. The statue looks kind of classic so not what you immediately associate with being made out of scrapmetal.

Sandra said...

my first thought was "what and UGLY statue" then i read it was made from bumpers. It is still ugly but is very creative and the man was really talented. I think you should paint the statue black, hummm? love the bumper story.

George said...

I'm very impressed with the statue. It really does look good. I've known Mennonites who drive cars, but I had not heard of Black Bumper Mennonites before.

Kilauea Poetry said...

This is hilarious. That's an old Rolling Stone song (lol. Anyway, I find this rather husband is a mechanic- Always a conflict going on inside huh?
Nice verse..oh,(I did leave a comment too). Have a wonderful afternoon,

Bird Girl said...

Hi Ginny - You do find the most amazing things to post and then you weave them into such a good story! I learned something new and indeed...if I run into any Black bumper Mennonites I will say 'hi' :-)

P.S. Yes, that bluebird purse is a one of a kind and thanks for following my blog. I'm gonna follow yours too ;-)

happily retired gal said...

Wow ... that's amazing! What a creative way to 'recycle' and generate fascinating art! I do enjoy the way you find things of interest and weave interesting stories with Biblical references. Methinks I'll save the rest of your posts for another time because Molly and I both need some fresh air and exercise.
Hugs and blessings,