Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's Time to Honor The Women of Arizona With A Monument

November 18, 2012

   Got up to Bronzesmith in Prescott Valley yesterday at 10:05 and the place was already packed with people who drove in from all corners of the state to see Not-So-Gentle Tamer. Out of the crowd I spotted my cousin Froggy Hauan and his wife Trudy, who flew in from Rochester, Minnesota just to see for themselves the ten-foot-tall clay sculpture co-dedicated to my grandmothers, Minnie Hauan Bell and Louise Guess Swafford. Froggy (his given name is Norm) is related to my grandmother Bell and still farms in Thompson, Iowa.

Here we are posed in front of Deb Gessner's masterpiece. And here is the sculptor Deb with me:

The Open House was supposed to be from 10 until 2, but the crowds were so strong I stayed until three. Everyone seems awed by the sheer size of the tough-old-gal but it is the eyes that are the window to her soul. Her eyes say loud-and-clear, "Do not mess with my family." That remarkable achievement is totally Deb Gessner. They had my painting next to the statue (which inspired the project) and someone commented that my painting is estrogen and the sculpture is testosterone. Ouch! Funny, but true.

Several patrons commented that of all the state's centennial projects this year, Not-So-Gentle Tamer is the only one that will honor women. Here's the deal: we need to raise $85,000 to make the bronze monument happen. We have raised half of that. You can help in several ways. You can buy one of the smaller versions of the sculpture (half the money goes to casting the bronze), or you can buy raffle tickets to win one of the small bronzes and you can donate money to the cause at

The plan is to dedicate the full-sized bronze in front of the Prescott Valley Courhouse on Statehood Day, February 14, 2013. It takes two months to cast the bronze so it's going to be a challenge to raise the money in time but with your help we can do it. I hope you'll consider supporting this worthy cause, especially if you agree with Lora Lee, the tireless champion of this project.

"It's time to honor the women of Arizona with a monument."

—Lora Lee Nye