Have you ever stopped to take a look at some of the statues around Tacoma? Well, I did. Myself and the weirdos at Grit City Magazine wondered what it would be like to mess with some of their expressions using neural filters in Photoshop. (More info on those here if you’re interested.) After I messed with their faces, I thought I might as well mess with the stories too. Below are the exaggerated (and in some cases, unsettling) results, for your viewing pleasure. And then the untouched photo for a palette cleanser before you scroll down to the next abomination.
It also feels necessary to give a shoutout to Larry Anderson, who created four of the six statues featured in this story. He created a total of 70, including at least eight for Tacoma, before passing away in 2018. I don’t know if any of the artists would appreciate what we did to their finely sculpted faces, but I appreciate the jumping off point.
Ribarski Pripovijest (A Fish Story)
2306 N. 30th St. Larry Anderson
The Fisherman’s wife was in disbelief that her husband, widely accepted as the worst fisherman among their friends, had brought home a prize catch! He wanted to have it taxidermized and put on display in their home. She was less than enthusiastic about the idea at first, but came around to it after she saw how happy it made her husband. The fish was not consulted in any of this. The fish’s spirit actually ended up haunting the couple’s house and cursing their marriage. The statue commemorates one of the last happy moments of their relationship before it dissolved into fish-cursed mayhem. Legend has it, if you spend enough time on N. 30th, you can still hear the couple bickering while the ghost fish snickers.
The Vision of Allen C. Mason – Tacoma’s Super Salesman
3722 N 26th St. Paul R. Michaels
Allen Mason, one of Tacoma’s original cheerleaders, extends a friendly hand and a questionable smile to any who venture past his perch behind the Star of Destiny in Proctor. Don’t be afraid to say hello. For a millionaire he’s actually really approachable! Just don’t compare him to the Monopoly Man, he’s sensitive about that. This wasn’t included in the previous hot gossip we published about Allen Mason—and you didn’t hear it from me—but the Monopoly Man stole Allen’s look.
5450 South Tacoma Way Larry Anderson
After a long day of work, the laborer came home to a surprise. His roommate was babysitting their sister’s ex-wife’s cousin’s niece, and he hadn’t ever really been a kid person. The little girl, however, was a big fan of him for some indiscernible reason. His roommate asked him to watch the kid for a minute while she went to the bathroom and before the exhausted man could decline, the roommate was out the door and the girl was pulling all the board games off the shelf. He wasn’t trying to be a dick to the kid, but those board games were some of his most prized possessions, so he picked her up and set her on the other side of the room. He went back to guard the games but the kid was right behind him ready to wreak havoc. He picked her up again to set her in the kitchen, but she kept following him back. An endless cycle of adult annoyance and youthful persistence is beautifully commemorated in this statue.
Goddess Of Commerce
Intersection of St. Helen’s Ave. and Baker St. Marilyn Mahoney
Tacoma’s Goddess of Commerce usually looks over her city with reverence and pride, but today I caught her after a really disappointing lunch. Many don’t know, but the Goddess actually snacks on pieces of the city itself. Unfortunately, the taste of rising rents, gentrification, and hostile architecture, is similar to that of wet cat food.
Clearing the Way and New Beginnings
701 A St. and 1715 Pacific Ave. Larry Anderson
These two were childhood friends who drifted apart in early adulthood after focusing on different career paths. Years later, after becoming more established in life, they reconnected. They were happy to see each other successful and fulfilled in their chosen paths, despite that being the cause of their separation when they were younger. They actually have crushes on each other, too. Everyone sees it but they won’t admit it to each other.