People had gathered, Public Access television was rolling their camera, and cheers were sent out as the Tin Man made his way back to the top of his loyal home, the roof of a heating & air conditioning facility.
A lot of people gathered together this week all over the country and the world for various reasons. (Beirut, Washington DC & New York, Illinois) All of them being more serious than what I witnessed today outside of King Heating/Air, but all of them having their own significance to the people that come out to support these matters. All of them have a different tone to them. This one, being the most frivolous, was one that I was glad to be a part of.
The crowd gathered outside for the spectacle that was set to take place just after noon. The sign had been placed outside weeks ago displaying;
"The tin man is going back on the roof!
May 7'th at Noon!
ALL ARE WELCOME!"
I couldn't contain myself!
I was so excited, anxious, and genuinely worried when we weren't sure if this whole event had been insured (operating a crane around a large group of people...). Eric had told me the story of the Tin Man a long time ago, when I first was becoming familiarized with this town (I live just down the road from the establishment). The 6 foot 6" Tin Man was perched on the roof of King Heating & Air Conditioning for 30+ years, until he met his fate four years ago to the date. They took him down to repaint/repair him and when they approached the time to put him back up, an ordinance had been passed that restricted his return. The town, was apparently outraged at the then-mayor, JoAnn Kelly. It was their "landmark", as I heard one long time resident claim today. You can tell this is the most excitement this town has seen in a long time. There was so much adoration for this man constructed of scrap tin. I even fell hard for the tin man. I requested off work so I could attend this whole event. After all he was charming.
When I say this was the most excitement this town has seen in a long time, that wasn't a snide remark. It was just so funny to witness it all. The crane hoisted this tin man from the ground up, all to the tune of 'The Star Spangled Banner' & 'Proud To Be An American'. HILARIOUS. I was trying not to crack up as those songs blared through the speakers as this tin man was suspended in the air for all the crowd to see. (The best song they played while I was in attendance was definitely 'Pump Up The Jam')
At the end of the day, this made people so happy. Even if it all was for a short period of time. It would be nice if local government would make decisions that are more effective and less useless-and enact more things that could benefit everyone as a whole. I find a cute aspect in the fact that the current mayor used the tin man as a sweet spot in his campaign speech in 2009, saying that the tin man "would find his way home". Less about local Government and on with the pictures!
Does this remind you of anything?
It reminded Eric and I right way of past images of the raising of the flag.
He remarked, "This tin man is this town's Iwo Jima."
Does that put the adoration into perspective?
At the end of the day now, Oak Forest residents walk away with an assurance that the Tin Man will now resume his watchful eye over the town.