Is That A ... Cardboard Replica Of The Gold Man Statue?
Drivers passing through the Providence and Queens intersection this past week may have noticed something unusual: a cardboard replica of the gold statue that formerly stood in the median, a floppy hat on his head and a dishtowel in his hand.
The statue memorializes a local eccentric named Hugh Pharr McManaway, who used to stand at the intersection in the 1960s and 70s and mimic as if he were directing traffic. In recent years, locals have taken to dressing the statue up for weddings, sporting events and other holidays.
But the statue disappeared last September after it was hit by a drunk driver (previously, the statue was also hit by drivers in 2002 and 2012). The city has been keeping the statue in storage as a local artist works on repairs.
So where did the cardboard reproduction come from? Charlotte resident Amy Honours knows. Her daughter Banner Burleson was married on Saturday to Michael Vicary at Myers Park United Methodist Church, located just next to the statue.
The bride's childhood friend Emily Crutcher was put in charge of decorations.
"Usually, when people get married at the church, the statue gets decorated," Honours said, "And Emily was distraught when she found out the statue wasn't there anymore."
But Cruchter, who works in commercial real estate, is not one to be underestimated.
When the family arrived for the wedding service on Saturday, there was a homemade Hugh — with his floppy hat, dishtowel and a poster board sign congratulating the couple.
Crutcher also included references to the bride and groom’s alma mater — the University of Tennessee at Knoxville — and to their respective professions. He works as a counselor at Young Life Charlotte. She works as a nurse at Carmel Baptist WEE School.
The couple is currently on a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, with plans to return to Charlotte this weekend. The original Hugh McManaway statue, meanwhile, remains in city storage, with plans to return to the intersection this November.