A landmark was destroyed recently. It's demise didn't attract the attention of the media, just as it's existence never did. You won't find it on any sort of historical registry, but it was a piece of the local landscape for years. It was a life size wooden sculpture of a black bear; the sort that is carved with a chainsaw. He stood on his hind legs, his paws over his stomach, looking out at the Bedford Street traffic with a sort of bemused curiosity, a cross between Gentle Ben and Winnie-the-Pooh.
When I first started to get to know Lexington I used the bear as a landmark, a sign that I'd found the right road to take me back to the highway. Once I knew my way around better, he just made me smile. His owners must have had a soft spot for him too. When they built a wall along their property to block the noise of the street, they designed it so the wall formed a little alcove around the bear. It was like the bear was on display at a museum, a more rustic and ursine Birth of Venus.
I'd love to show you a photo, but I never thought to take one, until the morning I drove down Bedford Street and saw a wood chipper parked next to the bear. No, I thought. They wouldn't chop him up into so much mulch. They must be trimming the overhanging limbs and this was just a convenient place to park. When I passed on my way home that evening, he was gone. The absence highlighted by the unpainted boards of the fence that had previously been hidden by his massive form.
This winter when the snow piles were so deep only the bear's shoulders and head were visible, I thought about doing a little yarnbombing. He looked like he could use a scarf. I never did knit one; the bear, after all, was someone's personal property, but I kind of wish I had.
Thanks to Google Earth I was able to find a photo of the bear.