Focus on Fostoria - Mar2705

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Published on 03/27/05 in the Fostoria Focus
The Fostoria Statue of Liberty
By LEONARD SKONECKI
Focus Correspondent
- Click for picture -

Lady Liberty
Buzz Hollinger has set up this Statue of Liberty replica by the pond in his backyard. The statue used to belong to his parents, who bought it in Clyde years ago.

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The Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom, welcomes visitors and overlooks a body of water in New York City.

It does the same in Fostoria.

If you go past Buzz and Judy Hollinger’s place south of town, you can see the 8-foot tall replica of Lady Liberty overlooking the pond behind their house.

About four years ago, Buzz, retired from Atlas, decided a pond would be a nice addition to their place. Today, they have a 10-foot deep, 180 by 60 pond stocked with blue gill, bass and catfish.

They have a pedal boat, assorted water toys for kids and fishing gear to entertain friends who come to call.

Buzz didn’t decide to put up a Statue of Liberty just on impulse. This particular Statue of Liberty has a family history.

“My mom and dad bought it years ago in Clyde,” said Buzz. “Dad just decided one day he wanted one. Mom always said if any of us kids wanted anything to write it down so it would be in her will. Well, I wanted the statue and she decided she’d like to see it out here before she died. So we put it in. It looks real nice out here.”

Buzz has a couple of personal reasons for putting Lady Liberty on display. His son Chad joined the Navy in 1989 and is making a career of it.

Chad, a lieutenant, met his wife in the Navy. He likes to ride motorcycles. She’s his mechanic.
The other reason is his stepson, Bob Crawford, also a Navy man who got out of the service in 1989.
“They’re the reason I did it, to be patriotic. It’s like being on the honor guard (Fostoria United Veterans). It feels good to do something for someone else.”

(Buzz pointed out that not everyone on the color guard is a veteran. There are several non-vets who donate their time to the group.)

Buzz had lots of help putting the statue up. Denny Shiley, stepson Bob and Ray, Sam and Chad Valenti, as well as neighbor Jerry Faber all pitched in.

The cast metal statue has a new coat of paint, antique gold so it looks like the copper the actual Statue of Liberty is made of. It glistens in the sun like a shiny penny.

Atop her uplifted arm is a light with a yellow globe to look like a flame. She sits on a base made with 28 80-pound bags of concrete.

The wire servicing the lighting for the statue and the flag runs through pipe embedded in the concrete. It took a couple days to complete the project.

If you go to New York’s Statue of Liberty, you’ll find an American flag or two close by so Buzz and his friends installed a 16-foot tall flagpole. It swivels so that the flag won’t get tangled no matter which way the wind blows.

Buzz has two fountains in the pond. One he made out of an old sump pump.

Buzz and Judy have lots of get-togethers, including family reunions. If you’re wondering how good the fishing is, Denny Shiley is the current Hollinger Pond record-holder having snagged a 28-inch catfish.
So the Hollingers have a place to enjoy the nice weather and entertain family and friends. It also pays a very striking visual tribute to America’s ideals of freedom.

Like Denny said, “When you’re out there, you can’t help looking at it.”