If you happen to be driving down Route 128 in northern Vermont and you keep an eye on the side of the road, you're in for a rude awakening, courtesy of a rude gesture. A near half-ton wooden sculpture of a fist with the middle finger extended has been placed high up for all to see.
Ted Pelkey, the Westford man who owns the sculpture, estimates he spent around $4000 to have it built, mounted on a two story pole, and strung up with flood lights to ensure it could be seen at night.
It is a sight to behold.
Westford man raises middle finger statue in dispute with town officials youtu.be
And behold it, people have.
Despite push-back from town officials, the sculpture cannot legally be forced down, as it is protected as a work of art. That makes Pelkey unbelievably happy, since he didn't expect it to be protected.
For 10 years Pelkey has been trying to get a permit to build an 8,000-square-foot business on his 11-acre property. He owns a monofilament recycling business in Swanton, but is running out of space to expand, and would like to avoid the rising cost of rent.
His attempts have been met with resistance and animosity, however, because, as Pelkey claims, members of the town development review board have a personal grudge against him. At every turn with his filing, Pelkey says he finds new obstacles in his path to get his business built. The most recent application was denied for lacking information about the building's purpose and lighting.
The sculpture certainly shows Pelkey is thinking about lighting.
Pelkey wanted to send a message to the officials running the town, and it would appear he has. The 16-foot-tall "art piece" has become so popular, it even has its own Facebook fan page.
A court hearing for an appeal on Pelkey's most recent rejection is set for January. We'll see if the rude gesture has been a hindrance toward his application or if the art sculpture got his message across.