This story contains no bull. Rather, it's about one which has come to roost, so to speak, in downtown Scottsburg.
Our story starts with April Ramoni, an officer of the Scott County Arts Council and enthusiastic supporter of all things art. She was contacted by Jaime Toppe, director of the Scott County Community Foundation, who had discovered a BISON-TENNIAL contest being conducted by the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance in honor of the state's Bicentennial birthday.
All you had to do is fill out an application form, telling why you thought your county/organization would like to have its own life-size fiberglass statue of a bison.
Seems easy enough, right?
“And it was, but it still took me a good 1½ hours to complete on-line. So, I sat in my backyard and came up with what we (Ramoni and husband Greg) thought was a good application,” Ramoni related.
Which is why she found herself making a five-minute presentation on June 15 in front of the IPA committee charged with selecting a winner from the five finalists chosen. Five minutes, five slides and plenty of persuasion went into Ramoni's talk about her home county.
“We used our Arts Council slides of people doing the crosswalk art, the pocket park and the barn mural at the county museum to show committee members that we all work together down here to get things done. And I purposely left one slide blank to symbolize our continuing hopes for making Scott County a better community,” she explained.
Ramoni wowed the IPA. “You could track the votes as they came in. We won by a considerable margin,” she reported.
Originally, the IPA was going to rent a trailer and bring the bison to Scott County. Instead, Ramoni and SCAC member, volunteer and all-around good guy Scott McDill went up in McDill's pickup truck, loaded the bison, strapped him down and started heading south on Interstate 65.
“People laughed, looked startled and puzzled. They pointed and took pictures. It was quite a ride home,” Ramoni advised. “We got lots of thumbs-up!”
Arriving in Scottsburg, the bison was unloaded and established on the lawn of Heacock's Eastside Art Gallery, located just east of the downtown square on McClain Avenue (State Road 56).
So, what does one do with an unpainted statue of a full-size buffalo?
Fortunately, the Arts Council is making plans.
First, the bison will be making the rounds of local festivals, the Scott County Fair and schools. At least 200 people will get a chance to help paint him, which makes sense since the whole contest is part of Indiana's celebration of its Bicentennial.
Also, we will be naming the beast. Children and adults will be able to submit potential winning names, with the winner announced on Friday, September 16, the day that the Bicentennial torch relay will make its way through Scott County.
So, get your thinking caps on because it's got to be a good name.
And the bison will have to find a permanent home somewhere so everyone will be able to enjoy him, maybe even get pictures taken with him. Caution: he's a little big for a selfie.
But he poses so well!