“The Three Daughters of Fate”
by George McCullough
Just about 20 years ago George McCullough and I were painting on top of the newly made hill at Kelly Box and Packaging on Covington Road. As we took a break and sat back looking at our paintings George announced that Lachesis would sure look good on top of the hill that overlooked the pond next to Kelly Box.
I wasn’t sure who or what George was talking about so he explained. George entered a contest to put sculptures in one of Indianapolis’s squares and ended up one of three finalist. All three were required to make a presentation. George took corrugated and cut out a smaller version later placing them in the square. A group of judges came along, asked questions and then decided which one would win. George did not win.
It took a great deal of time and effort to do all that just to get rejected, so George thought it would be good to put one of the sculptures on the hill.
He explained that the group of three daughters were the Fates in Greek Mythology, Clotho, the spinner of life, Lachesis, the one who measures, and Atropos, the one who cuts the cloth of life. George thought Lachesis would look best on top because you want to keep Lachesis happy. She determined how long your life would be. No God in Greek mythology was more powerful or could change or influence the Fates. They basically represented the beginning, the middle and end of life.
And such, the project began. We cut out a life size version from corrugated and then ordered two pieces of ½ inch steel. Over a period of three weekends George, Ken Koorsen, myself and a few other friends cut out and welded Lachesis. She is standing holding out her arms with a piece of cloth measuring the length in a celebration of Life.
Once finished we discussed how to get a statue that was twenty feet tall and weighed over 1000# up the hill and on the platform. Tired and getting dark we decided to stand it up securing it by placing bales of scrap corrugated all around her bracing Lachesis up straight close to the building. How to get her up the hill would have to be figured out later.
We discussed numerous ways on how to get the statue to the top of the hill. A few weeks went by and not much was progressing. Then Lachesis took things into her own hands. It was Fate.
A truck driver on a very windy day exited from his truck and flipped his cigarette onto ground. The wind swept it up and blew it into the bales of corrugated. The alarms ran and firetrucks arrived. The flames were fifty feet in the air and in the middle with her outstretched arms was Lachesis.
The statue was not damaged at all. The building was okay, but the burnt and warped siding needed replaced. I called our insurance agent and proceeded to get quotes on replacing the damaged siding. While discussing details with the contractors, I asked how they would put the siding on the building. Their answer was that they would bring in a crane….. and thus how Lachesis was put on top of the hill.
Eight years later and a year or two before George died we decided to put the other two Fates next to Lachesis. Clotho is weaving while Atropos has her scissors out waiting to cut. Since we knew what we were doing, this time around everything went much smoother. George, now 80, worked with Dan Siefert, a welder and we cut the other two out of one piece of steel elongating the bottom. Don Harter was a big help in getting all three Fates on the hill. The same construction company, Zumbrun, graciously returned with their crane and placed the other two.
Today they look strong and beautiful. Every day I drive by and look over across the pond with fond memories of the planning and creation of these pieces of art. And I think of George. I know he would be proud on how good they look now and for years to come.