Keep the pipe with the Elizabeth Taber statue

Dec 31, 2018
To the Editor:
I’ve heard some scuttlebutt that there is some controversy over how to portray Elizabeth Taber in the proposed sculpture. 
Elizabeth Taber is perhaps the most important figure of Marion’s history. 

She ran her own affairs, made her own investments and by all accounts was a strong, independent woman in a time when it was a man’s world. 

Whether she was deliberately flouting social norms or she simply didn’t care, she smoked a pipe.  

Cue the politically correct police, who argue that her statue should not portray her as she was:  the pipe is banished, too offensive for their tender sensibilities. 

Never mind that this woman was who she was and would not even be remembered today were it not for her very independence and willingness to step outside the prescribed bounds for a woman of her time, and that included smoking her pipe. 

Would we for a moment think of portraying Churchill without his cigar?  How about Taft without his girth?  Isn’t obesity the new social health campaign? 

This display of prudishness is no less than that promulgated by the Church in the 16th century when they had the genitalia of sculptures broken off or covered by silly fig leaves to cover up the truth of God’s creation.

For the sake of truth and for future generations, when we represent history in print or in public art, we are entrusted and obligated to represent the facts as they were and not censor them according some misguided bias. 

Ron Wisner

Delano Road