Hank- Father Junipero Serra statue
IB—uKian uaiiy Journal, Ukiah, calif. Sunday, October 28,1984 Plymire wants statue of Serra HENRY PLYMIRE, envisions statue of Serra By FAE WOODWARD Llftttyl»t»dlfor Father Junlpero Serra, died 200 years ago on Aug. 28, 1784. As the date arrived, marking the Serra Bicentennial, numerous observances ignited like dry grass from the spark of the flint. Likewise newspapers and magazines have devoted considerable space to the devout Franciscan friar who is credited with establishing a chain of missions from the Mexican border to San Francisco Bay. The excitement has been stirred by the Investigation and compilation of legal briefs that precede beautification and canonization of a saint in the Catholic Church. Just as Serra's love brought many Indian converts into the Christian faith 200 years ago, the industry and humbleness of this priest has likewise won the hearts of many of today's Californians.Among those swept up in flame is Henry M. Plymire, resident of the ridge between Ukiah Valley and Willits. Plymire, a long-time San Jose Chamber of Commerce executive; a former president of the California Association of Convention Bureaus and California Mission Trails Assocition director, Is a promoter at heart. With his favorite historical figure about to become a saint, Plymire has located an artist that can produce a redwood statue as tall as a tree. In Arnold, Calavaras County, Plymire ran across Miles Tucker, foremost chainsaw artist. From the moment that he observed Tucker at work, Plymire invisioned a tall redwood statue of Father Serra standing at the entrance of the Golden Gate. The Willits Ridge resident, said this was not a new idea, but one that had tickled his brain for 25 years. The only thing new about it, was that the statue might be of redwood instead on concrete or metal. Whether the statue would stand on Alcatraz Island or some other vantage point, the excited ex-chamber executive was not sure. He has been rattling political doors and windows up and down the peninsula in an effort to reach a friendly ear. But as yet none of these portals have been opened to him. The artist, Tucker, is busy in Los Angeles at the moment working on sculptures of the United States Olympic medal winners, according to the Willits Ridge resident. Plymire sees his statue as the Pacific Coast's answer to the East Coast's Statue of Liberty.