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Smoke Signal Statue Returns to Post

LAWTON Okla_ A statue of a Native American that had been missing from its perch at the corner of Sheridan and Cache was raised back into place Tuesday. 

It shows an Indian man sending smoke signals. The statue hadn't been in place very long when it disappeared, which had some people wondering if something bad had happened. It was just taken in for a restoration job.

To its owner Bill Williams, the Native American sculpture entitled "Wireless" ties the past to the present. Located in front of a cell phone business know for its wireless communication, the statue reminds those who pass by of one of the first methods of wireless communication: smoke signals.

"It has been a long, long time," Williams said. "Humanity, for some reason or another, evolves into better methods of communication. That is what they have done over the years."

It was this evolution of communication that got Williams to thinking.

"I started building this building for AT&T, which is in the wireless business," Williams said. "I came up with the idea of getting Robert Dean to build me a sculpture of an Indian doing smoke signals."

Robert Dean was a local artist. To Bill Williams, the statue brought to life the Native American culture while representing the first wireless communicator. So, with the new cell phone store came the statue. Then months ago, the statue disappeared. While some may have suspected foul play, it was only a measure to fix the decaying sculpture.

"When Robert painted it, it was in the winter time," Williams said. "He was not able to control the environment in which we painted it in, and consequently the paint job wasn't very good."

That led Williams to commission a local company to fix the statue to its original state.

"They sanded him down, did a little repair work on him, put a couple coats of primer, and three coats of paint," Williams said. "So, that's how he is today, and hopefully he will last a long time."

Tuesday's rain didn't stop workers from putting the statue back into place. Williams said he is happy to share a local artist's work with the community again.





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