So long, old man
May 3, 2003 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Old Man in the Mountain Collapses - The rocky icon that New Hampshire chose for the reverse of its state quarter succumbed to winds, rain and freezing temperatures.
posted by Frank Grimes (28 comments total)
The governor plans to rebuild. Will the U.S. Mint give New Hampshire a "do over?"
posted by Frank Grimes at 2:37 PM on May 3, 2003

Boy does this suck. I'm a New Hampshire boy myself, and everybody I've told today has been in shock about this. I even saw people in cars yelling it to pedestrians at crosswalks and red lights.
posted by crazy finger at 2:45 PM on May 3, 2003

Truly an American icon.

But seriously, I finally saw the thing last winter. I'm glad I did.
posted by rusty at 2:45 PM on May 3, 2003

Maybe he was mad because Porky Pig was trying to paint his mountain without permission?
posted by Space Coyote at 2:46 PM on May 3, 2003

If it was a natural rock formation, I hope they won't try to replicate it, but create something different.
posted by hobbes at 2:49 PM on May 3, 2003

The governor plans to rebuild.

Seems like a great sponsorship opportunity for Pfizer.
posted by Wet Spot at 2:50 PM on May 3, 2003

Wet Spot, I think Prudential may be a better sponsor ("own a piece of the rock"). Maybe NH could make souvenir gravel if they decide not to rebuild.
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:06 PM on May 3, 2003

Wow. The man in the mountain falls prey to patriotism. I blame that flag they stuck in his forehead. Just enough to topple him.

Rebuild it?
I hope they use explosives.
posted by Busithoth at 3:09 PM on May 3, 2003

Governor Benson said the face should be "revitalized". Kinda Gives a whole new meaning to face lift, don't it? Maybe the effort should be sponsored by Oil of Olay?
posted by dchase at 3:45 PM on May 3, 2003

One-half m g h, baby!
posted by crunchburger at 3:47 PM on May 3, 2003

I've passed by that mountain tons of times. It'll be strange not seeing it anymore. I'll never be able to show my son. Oh well.
posted by bondcliff at 4:03 PM on May 3, 2003

Saw it every summer growing up. Sad indeed.
posted by justgary at 4:10 PM on May 3, 2003

So did anyone notice that the after picture looks like the profile of Alfred Hitchock? Perhaps the caretaker should say, "Good evening" evertime he leaves the park.
posted by shagoth at 4:32 PM on May 3, 2003

So did anyone notice that the after picture looks like the profile of Alfred Hitchock? Perhaps the caretaker should say, "Good evening" evertime he leaves the park.

I see Richard Nixon, with his tongue out.
posted by pmurray63 at 5:44 PM on May 3, 2003

I see the folly of mans hubris over nature to rebuild.
posted by stbalbach at 6:35 PM on May 3, 2003

It truly is a loss, but our planet does move on. I'll treasure the photos I have of it.
posted by scottymac at 7:16 PM on May 3, 2003

It's the old man of the mountain... as memorialized by Fleischer Studios and Cab Calloway in 1933... and, even earlier, in this snazzy 1932 recording by The Mills Brothers.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:22 PM on May 3, 2003

America seems to show a strange fascination for the artificial, often preferring it to the real. It's strangely horrifying, yet unsurprising, that someone would suggest creating an doppleganger to replace the natural phenomena.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:32 PM on May 3, 2003

As sad and strange as this is, it's not without precedent. Connecticut's proud symbol (and also its quarter design), the Charter Oak, succumbed to a rainstorm in 1856.

According to legend, the tree was the hiding place of the charter granting Connecticut legal sovereignty by King Charles II. When James II's men came in 1682 seeking to revoke the charter and return the colony to the motherland so it could be combined with Rhode Island and Massachusetts to create a generic New England colony. But during the negotiations over the charter, the lights suddenly went out and a scuffle ensued. Captain Joseph Wadsworth, who ended up with possession of the document, hid Connecticut's charter in the tree. And in those days, that was good enough.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:53 PM on May 3, 2003

Never heard of it (that I can recall anyway).
posted by mischief at 10:06 PM on May 3, 2003

The New Hampshire rock formation arguably bore a strong resemblance to President Abraham Lincoln.

May 1st, President George W. Bush made a tailhook landing in a S-3B Viking jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, a ship named in tribute to the 16th president. On the carrier Bush made a speech saying, along with other things, that, "In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world."

Meanwhile, back in New Hampshire, the cumulative weight of the US PATRIOT act, the cynical White House use of the fear of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify a war of questionable intent, and the general erosion of the Bill of Rights finally reached critical mass with Dubya’s speech on the namesake flattop.

Indeed. Well, it's obvious, really...the old man was Lincoln, and he fell due to the combination of unsupportable weight, destabilization, and erosion. On the New Hampshire mountainside, Lincoln's jaw just plain dropped open, and the rocky head imploded.

As Dubya said on the USS Abraham Lincoln: "In the images of falling statues, we have witnessed the arrival of a new era." Twas' the unsupportable weight of irony heaped upon his head, the destabilization of Iraq in the name of freedom, and the erosion of the Bill of Rights that finally did the old man in. [/sarcasm_filter]
posted by Dunvegan at 11:09 PM on May 3, 2003

posted by blue_beetle at 12:32 AM on May 4, 2003 [1 favorite]

Gov. Craig Benson quickly declared that the face should be "revitalized"

My idea: Gov Benson should get together with some of Disney's "fun-gineers" and build an "Old Man" that can talk. I'm thinking "Country Bear Jamboree" on a large scale. If you're going to build a fake monument, why not innovate? That would (ahem) rock.
posted by SPrintF at 8:12 AM on May 4, 2003 [1 favorite]

I gotta potato that looks like Richard Nixon. Maybe that could be their new state symbol.

Seriously, though, I always thought the Man of the Mountain was, well, lame. I can't help but think, "that's all they got? some dumb 'i can kinda see a face in those rocks over there' symbol". It would be so much cooler if they chose something that really says New Hampshire. My vote goes to Mt. Washington, one of the most fucked up places on earth.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:37 AM on May 4, 2003

Talking about losing face!
[tumbleweed blowing through]
posted by thunder at 7:36 PM on May 4, 2003

Maybe they'll replace TOMOTM with a giant Dr. Evil? Or perhaps the Giant Stone Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man? The hell with presidents and Crazy Horse and a whole passel of Johnny Rebs, I want a mongo-big statue that I can really appreciate. Maybe the Marx Brothers, or turn a mountain range in NH into Godzilla. Gamera, Ghidora/Monster Zero, Mothra...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:25 PM on May 4, 2003

Turn it into a chia pet.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on May 4, 2003

A giant chia-puft-man?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:29 PM on May 4, 2003

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