April 1, 2024 at 1:52 p.m.

Man leaves monumental imprint behind


By James Fulks

Several years ago, an old friend of mine and I were out on a leisurely afternoon drive.

The old pal of mine, now deceased unfortunately, was a monument man by trade.

He assisted in the design and layout of memorial markers and then, once completed, he physically went to the site and erected and installed the monuments.

On this particular day, he said to me in his characteristic drawl, “Now Jim, I want you to see what I consider to be one of my masterpieces, in all the years I worked.”

As we turned a corner in the Memorial Park, I saw this massive black cube, standing on a point, seemingly “suspended” mid air above a base of light gray granite.

He explained how it was designed and more importantly how he assisted the day they erected it.

The black granite (India Black) is a massive cube, weighing several tons.

It is mounted, on point, utilizing a thick stainless steel pin (roughly the size of one’s wrist) which is inserted into both the corner of the cube and the base. 

The surrounding gray granite is Barrie Granite from Vermont.

This monument is amazing in size, scope, vision and scale, in every way.

My friend is now gone.

He crossed the river and is on his journey.

He’s been gone several years now. All I have are treasured memories of our times together.

And, most likely for eternity, this, and many other monuments, markers and gravestones will stand as a testament to his legacy of work.

He told me that day, when he took me to see this for the first time, that he was proud of the way it turned out and for his role in its design, creation and installation.

He said, “It’s something that I will be proud to be remembered for.”

Well, my old friend, today, I am remembering you, as I look at your masterpiece.

Goodbyes don’t mean you are forgotten, my old friend.

You were, and still are, loved by those of us who crossed paths with you on this mortal coil.

In loving memory of a Monument Man, Chris Gibbs.

PORTLAND WEATHER

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