F-S welding department creates giant fork display

Photo by Teresa Dyer

The statue stands at the junction of Bunch Road and Uhls Road in Simpson County.

In a project that would please the likes of artists Claes Oldenburg and Christo in its nature, a new statue was erected out in the Simpson County countryside.

However, this statue is unlike any other. While it does not depict the likeness of a founding father or revolutionary hero, it is no less eye-catching and it is truly unique among uniques.

It is a 20-foot tall salad fork that now stands mighty at the junction of Bunch Road and Uhls Road, northwest of town. Commissioned by Kent Kelly, the eating utensil was constructed over the past week.

"My favorite part was that no one was really supposed to know about it, and that we just did it for everybody, not just one person," senior Macey Young, who worked on the fork alongside her classmates, said.

FSHS welding teacher Jeremy Loveall overaw the statue's design and assembly after first presenting the idea to his students.

"I was talking to [Kent] and he said 'It would be funny if you put a fork there,'" Loveall said, "so we just built it."

Even though it was raised only recently, the fork has already become a topic of discussion, with community members planning times to visit the statue.

"I think it's cool," FSHS Secretary Teresa Dyer said. "It's amazing what our welding class did with it."

The figures of the statue are as impressive as the piece itself: the 680-pound, 21-foot-tall utensil is anchored into the ground by 2,000 pounds of concrete, ensuring it stays firmly planted. The fork is constructed of steel, ensuring it will remain strong and durable for many years to come.

While FSHS assembled the sculpture, Traughber Mechanical Services completed the laser-cutting of the fork's handle and prongs, and Hill Valley Concrete poured the base.

This fork is, for many students in Loveall's classes, the last major project they will work on. Graduation is right around the corner, and with it comes leaving behind the FSHS welding shop for pastures new.

There is, however, a little token in the handle of the fork for the graduating class. At the base of the statue, there is the street address for the house closest to it. Not only that, but the address matches this year's graduating class, 2018.

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