Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quick hits: One tourist mainstay is restored, while another says goodbye

Wright Brothers memorial sees inner beauty restored
"Towering 151 feet above the rest of Wright Brothers National Memorial, the granite Wright monument is a glittering landmark from afar; up close, it's a mighty sculpted artwork that well represents the feat of flight.

"Inside, it's dark and empty and dank. Niches in the granite walls where busts of Orville and Wilbur Wright and a model of the Wright Flyer were once displayed are bare. The steel map marking aviation breakthroughs has been removed. White buckets are positioned on the floor to catch water drips," says the Virginian-Pilot.

"Because it's so woefully unpresentable, few people have seen the interior of the Wright monument.

"But a restoration project set to start next month will include cleaning and restoring the interior and exterior. Mortar will be chipped out and replaced. Wiring and lighting will be redone. A new air conditioning unit will be installed.

"When the project is completed in 120 days, weather permitting, the Wright brothers monument will be nearly as perfect as it was when it was dedicated 75 years ago. ..."

Famous Cherokee booster dead at 72
"Henry 'Chief Henry' Lambert, who became the iconic image of the Cherokee Indian during five decades posing with tourists at his roadside tepee, died Tuesday of lung cancer. He was 72.
Lambert started 'chiefing' in 1951 to support his family," writes the Asheville Citizen-Times.

"His striking features, flowing headdress and enjoyment of the crowds brought generations of families back year after year to have their pictures made with him. His image still appears on postcards sold in Cherokee.

"Lambert never denied that the character he created was taken from Hollywood expectations of what an Indian should look like. He never promised to be authentic, only entertaining.

" 'I wouldn’t do anything else,' he said in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press. 'Meeting people from all walks of life. Kids. Kids love seeing an Indian.”' ..."

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