Sunday, March 23, 2008

NOW article

The North Ottawa Weekly had a nice article on McCay tribute efforts in Spring Lake. Here are some excerpts... I'll see if I can find a link to the full article...
A Noted Spring Lake Cartoonist is Drawing More Local Interest

[The committee] is focused on establishing a memorial to the storied artist [Winsor McCay]. The first step is to make McCay a part of this year's Spring Lake Heritage Festival.

Efforts to recognize McCay's hometown began nearly 20 years ago when [local illustrator Kevin] Collier first realized McCay was actually from Spring Lake, but nobody knew it.

"I became aware that nobody in the town knew about him. This obscure piece of history had been buried for years," he said. "Not even a plaque, not even a park bench had his name on it. I was surprised to find that."

Collier says the committee wants to make sure McCay is strongly and authentically recognized by the residents of the village in ways that last for years and years. The committee is excited about having McCay as part of the Heritage Festival, but it has a vision to establish a memorial park as well.

[Aaron] Zenz has sketched a vision of what the park could look like, and the centerpiece is a bronze statue of Gertie the dinosaur, one of McCay's most popular characters.

"We would like to have a piece of land that is a park and a statue of Gertie for kids to climb on," said Collier. "It really needs to be a place for kids to play."

"I think it's something that Spring Lake can identify with," said [committee chair Mark] Miller. "Every community has something they are especially proud of, and [McCay is someone] known around the world."