Archived Story

‘Cardinal Charlie’: In Mackinaw City, copper miner statue rides a bike

Published 12:11am Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recently my wife and I were treated by our son Barry to a four-day trip up north to old familiar places we have traveled over the years.

We rode in his large van with its large windows, which was like being on a tour bus.

Peg was happy as she could sight-see, not having to do the driving like she has since I had my stroke in 1988.

We were able to meet some of our old friends we haven’t seen in the last three years, as we don’t take any long trips anymore.

It was so nice to go across Big Mac bridge once again.

We went as far west as Escanaba.

Both of us enjoy the ride on U.S. 2 along Lake Michigan, and it was nice to get the hugs from our friends that we haven’t seen in three years.

As I sat in the van in Mackinaw City while the two were shopping, I noticed in an open space between two gift shops what seemed to be a statue of a copper miner man who had on a little copper miner’s cap sitting on a bicycle.

The statue looked to be bronze.

But it really wasn’t a statue, it was a man acting like he was a statue.

He really fooled you as he posed without any movement at all for quite some time.

Then all of a sudden he would move and ride on his bike around the open space.

He then would go back and pose again. He really fooled the people as he posed.

He had really drawn a crowd of folks and a lot of them went up and dropped money into his little wicker basket attached to the handle bars of the bike.

I’m telling you, he sure looked like a real statue, as even his face was painted bronze.

Kids were really enjoying him and he handed them something, but I couldn’t tell what.

Boy, I guess there is always a way to make a buck, but I think he was also enjoying the way the crowd enjoyed his antics.

As a kid, I can remember in one Dowagiac store window, there was a man who did something similar.

He would pose for a long time as a store display mannequin, then suddenly move to folks’ delight.

If anyone besides me, like some oldtimer, can recall seeing this, give me a call.

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