Suburban Viking

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Postcard I sent to an old high school friend recently.

A few years after I graduated, my high school erected an enormous sculpture of its mascot, the viking.

Burnaby North in the 1980s didn’t had much of a sports program, but it did have a large contingent of metalheads and some well-appointed shop programs. The viking was the ultimate result of those two factors.

With its steel-wire beard and carbon-black face, the viking pre-dates the professionalized world of calls for proposals and public art juries. The devil-like sculpture, buried to its shoulders beside a hilltop parking lot where students smoked weed, glaring at the pink stucco houses below it, is of the school, for the school.

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