DINOSAURS IN CEMENT

Autumn travelers who make their way up highway 71 for Razorback football games will recognize these two cement dinosaurs on the left as they pass through the town of Mountainburg. The T-rex stands thirteen feet at the eyeball and measures sixteen feet from tip to tail. The bronto stretches out at about twenty feet.

They are the work of Douglas W. Birchfield, who estimates they contain some 35-40 bags of cement and about a yard of sand in addition to miscellaneous binding agents and the steel understructure. When his son, a dinosaur enthusiast, lost an eye in an accident, Birchfield built a small dinosaur to aid his son's emotional recovery. Mr. Birchfield was approached in 1980 by the Mountainburg city council, who wanted to do something special for their new city park they were putting in beside the elementary school. They asked him to make this pair on a larger scale.

Mr. Birchfield sculpted both of these by himself in about a hundred hours.

You can't see it very well in these pictures, but there's a tunnel through the brontosaur. A child can crawl in the green dinosaur's armpit and exit behind the right leg. There used to be a swing hanging from the dewlap of the brontosaur, and the arms and teeth of the t-rex have been broken, mostly by Fayetteville students off on the odd adolescent collegiate tears.

And Napolean's artillerymen shot off the nose of the Sphinx.

RTJ--4/21/97



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