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Lubbock, Texas: Home To Giant John Wayne (Well His Head At Least)

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Back in 1979, a crew of engineers closed the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California and coordinated the removal of a giant boulder that was poised to fall, potentially causing casualties and major structural damage. After the boulder was removed, it was blown up using dynamite, and crowds cheered. A screenplay was even written about the event by a film producer whose home would have been in the direct path of the rock had it made its downward hurtle.

Lubbock Texas: Home To Giant John Wayne (Well His Head At Least)

Photo: Facebook/William Forsche

That was the last that California heard of the boulder however, having become yesterday’s news. An immigrant from Australia however had not lost interest, and instead offered the engineers $100 to let him have a 13-ton piece of the rock, which he promptly had trucked to a parking lot in Century City. Here, over a period of 10 weeks, while onlookers gathered, Brett-Livingstone Strong carved the rock he had hauled there into the likeness of John Wayne.

Lubbock Texas: Home To Giant John Wayne (Well His Head At Least)

Photo: Facebook/James Bennett

Entitled “Life-Time-Light”, Strong sold the work of art to an Arizona real estate tycoon, who then went on to display it at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for the period of one year, following which it was placed into storage. Eventually, the large head of John Wayne was donated to Lubbock Christian University, which renamed the head “Spirit of Independence” in 1991 and placed it in its library, where it has remained ever since.

Lubbock Texas: Home To Giant John Wayne (Well His Head At Least)
Photo: Facebook/Lubbock Christian University

The University felt that the giant John Wayne head fit right in at their library, and have identified as much in a plaque that sits next to it noting that his film characters were consistently “hard-working, honest, courageous, fiercely independent, God-fearing, polite (especially to women)” and that “many years after his death, he still appears on lists of most-admired Americans.”

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