Vermont man erects sculpture of middle finger as a message to town

Ted Pelkey stands in front of a wooden sculpture on his front lawn on Dec. 13, 2018, in Westford, Vt. Pelkey is in an ongoing dispute with the town over plans to move his truck repair and recycling business to his property. | Associated Press photo by Lisa Rathke, St. George News

WESTFORD, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man who is in an ongoing dispute with his town has let officials know exactly how he feels by erecting a large wooden sculpture of a fist with the middle finger raised on his front lawn.

Ted Pelkey said Thursday that he has been trying for about 10 years to move his truck repair and recycling business to his property but has been unable to get a permit. He paid about $3,000 to have the roughly 7-foot-tall sculpture carved with a chain saw. In November, he put it on a 16-foot pole with lights where it can be seen from the road.

“I wasn’t trying to get fame out of it at all. … I’m just mad,” he said. “I just got pushed in the corner, and it’s just I’m done with it.”

Since the sculpture went up, people have been stopping by during the day and even night to take photos of it and with it.

“Oh, God. It’s crazy,” Pelkey said. “People are out there at 11 o’clock at night taking pictures with their Santa hats on. It’s wonderful, I think.”

Late Thursday morning, three people pulled off of Route 128 to snap photos within an hour, including a woman from Maine who was in Vermont for work.

Westford Select Board Chairwoman Allison Hope said she could not comment on Pelkey’s case. He has appealed a recent decision.

“So we’re in the middle of an appeal that’s been going on for a while,” she said. “So I want to make sure that we use the process that Mr. Pelkey has a right to avail himself of, and I don’t want to mess with that process.”

She added that the town office has “a really great, really professional staff.”

“In terms of other folks, they do a really wonderful job no matter who comes to talk to them about permit applications,” she added. “They want to get to yes, but they also need to follow the zoning regulations that we have in town.”

Written by LISA RATHKE, Associated Press.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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6 Comments

  • iceplant December 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    This is what being an American is all about. The right to sculpt a middle finger and aim it at the people you don’t like.
    Wish I could build one large enough for the entire Utah legislature to see from all the way up there in the capitol building.

  • 42214 December 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Can we buy one of those for the state legislature and LDS church, not that there is a difference.

    • KR567 December 14, 2018 at 12:29 am

      there is a difference..the LDS church is in charge not the state legislature

  • Larry December 14, 2018 at 8:48 am

    I need one of those for the top of my truck for every time I drive by A Government Building. And Remember folks, “If you are not yet on a Government Watch List, You aren’t trying very hard to be an American”.

  • justsaying December 14, 2018 at 8:49 am

    I thought this was St. George News?

    • iceplant December 14, 2018 at 9:31 am

      It’s an AP story and they get posted along with local news. Keeps thing entertaining.

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