Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions-Hometown Version: East Bethel’s New Resident Black Bear


I try to avoid driving on Hwy 65 when showing houses in Anoka County. The backroads throughout Ham Lake, Linwood, Blaine and East Bethel are more picturesque. But a shortcut to our favorite movie theater in East Bethel from our Ham Lake home has my family driving down a short stretch of the Hwy 65 service road quite often. About two months ago, we noticed a enormous log standing straight up toward the sky and surrounded by scaffolding. There was the beginnings of a bear head on top of this huge piece of wood in the old Lefty Liquor’s parking lot. Of course, since we were heading to the movies, I had no camera with. So I made a mental note that this chainsaw masterpiece in the making was one to watch.

About a week later, we drove past again. That mental note popped up but too late to remember the camera. Now the giant bear was complete but there appeared to be more to do. A few weeks pass and another can’t miss feature film is showing at the Mueller East Bethel theater. As we pass rush to the movie house not wanting to miss the previews, that mental note once again came into my head as the bear was done. And not just completed but it was masterfully painted from head to toe and beyond. He was surrounded by several smaller bears, eagles and gnomes and a few uncut logs. It looked like a new chainsaw art business was in the making.

Wow—Now I had to get a photo before the bear was sold! So later that day we headed to the parking lot and shot several pictures of the bear. I loved the details as there are realistic stones, okay boulders, and a small pine in the base. Note how extremely tall he is from the shot that was taken from underneath. Using my 6 foot plus son to get perspective, I think this guy is in the 20 foot range!

Last Sunday, as my family packed in the car and headed to see the second Narnia flick, I realized the new chainsaw bear might become a more permanent fixture in East Bethel. Lefty’s is under new ownership and is now Black Bear Liquors. So when people head north on Highway 65 through Anoka County, take a moment to wave and welcome East Bethel’s newest artful roadside distraction!

Other Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions:
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