Questions Asked about Vermont – Whale Tails

by Linda Warner

Question:¬†While visiting with our son & his family we were on our way to Apple Cider Mill. On the way there on a highway just on the side of the road is a statue of some whale tails. What are they there for & what is the significance. We plan on visiting again this summer & I’d love to be able to teach my son about something in his new home state. Thanks for any information that you can provide.

Answer:¬†“The name of the whale tails sculpture is ‘Reverence’ and is meant to symbolize the fragility of the planet — that is, if you think of granite as fragile. It was commissioned in 1988 by a wealthy British metals trader named David Threlkeld, who lived in Randolph at the time. Jim Sardonis sculpted each of the two 13-foot high tails from six tons of black granite. The tails resided in Randolph beginning in 1989 and were to have been placed in front of a motel and conference complex planned by Threlkeld, but financing fell through and Threlkeld split for Arizona. The tails were offered up for sale with a price tag of $100,000. New Bedford, MA was considering it for awhile, and a sale to the Hartford Whalers hockey team seemed possible until the team moved and changed its name, but the tails eventually found their way to their present location beside I-89 outside Burlington.”
[Christopher Scott Martin, 06/21/2000)

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