Last week I had the pleasure of helping to restore the huge Native American sculpture that’s been located at Ocean City’s Inlet since 1976.
I call him “Chief,” and I’ve found him to be a calm place to visit over my 40 years of living here.
Peter Toth, who I assisted, has sculpted at least one of these artworks in each of the 50 states to honor native culture.
These sculptures are valuable, and gain interest with each passing year. Some people tour the country visiting as many of them as possible; some visit all of them.
Our sculpture needs care to contend with the often harsh weather it experiences exposed beside the inlet.
While Mr. Toth’s recent visit is important, Ocean City must continue to keep this local treasure in good shape for future generations. Toth is age 74.
Ocean City is very fortunate that in all of Maryland he chose to place a globally recognized legacy project here. Mr. Toth is willing to share his preservation tips with the Ocean City staff responsible for maintaining other sites around the city.
I’m willing to continue to donate my time to the conservation of this sacred object dedicated to the spirit of the Native ancestors of this land.
I’m a teacher, and Native American history is grossly underrepresented in our public school curriculum. Having myself lived for a time with Natives in New Mexico, I know there is much that Americans have to learn about the people that inhabited this land for 30,000 years before the first Europeans arrived.
Take some time when you’re near the inlet to visit “Chief”. He’s a steadying presence and an excellent listener.