New England Sport Touring
New England Sport Touring

Turtle Boy Turns 100 10/22/2012

Friday morning Mrs OSJ and I meet up with a few friends for breakfast. It was a rainy day but that usually never stops us from riding. Plus Redzone Rob was coming and that guy rides his Harley everywhere…
Turns out only the KTM and Ducati showed up in the wet.
So after a great breakfast with some good friends we headed home.
But first I wanted to snag a few tags..one was a metal sculpture of a animal. I had a good one in mind. Turtle Boy!
After I got home I did some research on the statue, mostly to make sure it was made out of metal..bronze to be exact. I found some interesting things about it. its real name is The Burnside Fountain and it is 100 years old. Ive only known about it for a few years, although it been at its current location since 1970 I must have been by it 1,000 times.
Its supposed to be a boy riding a sea turtle, but many have described it as being a bestial act between the boy and the turtle. I guess it depends on the angle you look at it and your state of mind. Even in 1986 the city of Worcester described it as “The boy holding the turtle, his hair flying, a sly smile on his face, is charming and disarming”
It was originally designed for use as a drinking trough for horses and dogs, but by the time it was finished and installed not too many horses were going thru downtown Worcester.
The way it was finished is also a little bizarre. Sculptor Charles Y. Harvey began work on Boy with Turtle at his studio in NYC. However he kept hearing voices telling him to commit suicide. Later it was discovered he said the voices were coming from the boy himself. Turtle boy gave him an exact date to do this. So on 1/27/1912 Charles went to Bronx Park and slit his own throat just as the Boy on the Turtle told him to do.
Later in life it was featured on WAAF’s Hill-Man’s 25 Great Places in Massachusetts http://www.youtube.com/v/NSi6H6HcA3M…</param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”>http://www.youtube.com/v/NSi6H6HcA3M…hl=en_US&rel=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”640″ height=”360″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”>so if you want to visit this statue on your own you can find it at the corner of Front and Franklin in downtown Worcester.
Leaving the city we took a detour to ride thru the only tunnel in Central MA. Many people don’t even know it exist.
I thought it might be a good spot for a tag in the future. I must say the sound of the arrow pipes inside that tunnel was pretty awesome!
It started to rain pretty hard from here. We still took the long way home, and just as I was going thru Holden I remembered a current theme tag was a Halloween decorated yard, and I knew just the place to snag it.
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Turns out I was a few days late, someone had already snagged the tag and changed it. Oh well.
We took some familiar back roads thru Holden, Sterling and finally back home to West Boylston. Believe it or not it was the first rain ride with the Firstgear coat you see me wearing. I was bone dry, and my tour master rain paints over my leather pants also kept me dry.
I hear a lot of riders say “I don’t mind riding in the rain, I just don’t want to start a ride in it” Well, Mrs OSJ and I are just a bit different..when we have a chance to be on two wheels we’re gonna take it! :)

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