This is a story of love and loss. Well, it’s not really a story; more of an outline. And it’s about The Boy’s love for… his cell phone. And it is – very tenuously – connected to the world’s largest rubber stamp in Cleveland, OH. Still with me?
The Boy turned 12 over Memorial Day weekend, when we took a road trip to Cleveland, OH. We gave up the fight and got him his first cell phone. It was simple model. It was supposed to just be able to make calls and send texts, and yet he tricked it out to the point where I thought he could use it to launch a rocket.
It quickly became an appendage. And just as quickly, was broken after he sat on it while it was in his pocket. Such a sad boy.
The upside was that his hands were then free to take this trick photo “gripping” the world’s largest rubber stamp. (Remember that tenuous connection I mentioned earlier?)
This is called Free Stamp, created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen in 1991. It’s installed in Willard Park outside Cleveland’s City Hall, and a block away from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s made of steel and aluminum, and painted with polyurethane enamel. It’s over 28 feet tall, and 49 feet long!
We had to wait our turn to take our photos with the stamp. There was a steady stream of visitors, including a bridal party, looking for a great picture.
I’ve become such a fan of Claes Oldenburg. He created two of the pieces we saw recently in Philadelphia, including the world’s largest clothes pin.
Epilogue: 24 hours within returning home, The Boy was able to replace his phone, thanks to the insurance plan. Happiness and harmony restored.