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Fremont Merchants Plan to Light up Lenin This Season
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | 26 November 2004 | Kery Murakami

Posted on 11/26/2004 11:23:48 AM PST by Publius

In downtown Seattle, they light a big Christmas tree for the holidays.

But in Fremont, they're going to light up -- what else? -- the big statue of Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin will be lighted at 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at the corner of Fremont Place North and North 36th Street. (It's the intersection with the big statue of Lenin.) The monument will be bedecked with garland and lights -- and probably not just red ones.

It will be the first time the 18-foot bronze statue has been lighted since it came to the Center of the Universe in 1995 by way of Slovakia and Issaquah.

As the story goes, a sculptor named Emil Venkov was commissioned to build the statue by the Czech Communist Party. But when the regime fell, so did the statue. It lay in a dump until an Issaquah man teaching in Poland happened upon it. Struck by it, he mortgaged his home in Issaquah and had the statue shipped from the East Bloc to the Eastside. It sat in a pasture behind his house until the Fremont Chamber of Commerce agreed to take it.

This week the Seattle Post-Intelligencer spoke with Corky Merwin, 48, one of the Fremont chamber members who came up with the idea to light up the old Bolshevik.

Merwin recently opened the Postmark Gelato shop behind the statue in "Lenin Square," but she already seems like a native in this eccentric neighborhood. The walls of her shop are filled with her collection of postcards and a bronze-colored ice cream cone more than a foot long.

"We put it out there in Lenin's hand sometimes," she said.

Merwin, who moved here from Vashon Island (which has its own share of characters), said her friends worried about her living in the big city. "But then when they heard I was going to Fremont, they said, 'Oh, she'll fit right in there.'"

How did the Lenin-lighting idea come up?

A bunch of us were sitting around talking at the Fremont Chamber (of Commerce) about what we could do to celebrate all the things that have happened at Lenin Square. Not only did our store move in, but we redid the tiling around the edges of the plaza (where the Lenin statue stands). No one used it as a plaza before. I also think it's an interesting time to honor a controversial head of state.

Does Lenin get any visitors?

People from all around the world, from Russia and England, come by. They're aghast to see it here.

Some people complained about the statue when it went up because they thought it took his regime's repression lightly. Do you still get complaints?

One guy came in and started yelling at my people, like it was their fault.

Do you think using him in a lighting ceremony makes more light of Lenin and his regime?

I don't think putting lights and garland on him is honoring him.

What's with all these postcards in your store?

It's been a passion of mine since I was a child. I love to travel and I love to write. ... We got this postcard someone sent us. They were traveling in Russia and somehow she heard about us and sent us this postcard.

How else have you used the Lenin in front of your store?

I wanted to watch the (presidential) debate, so I brought a little television to the store and I put a notice on craigslist.com, "Come watch the debate in the shadow of Lenin." It was great. About 40 people showed up. Where else in the United States could you do that?

How do you think Lenin would feel about being all lit up?

I don't know. He didn't sound like a guy with a great sense of humor. I think Trotsky probably would have had more fun with it.

What do you think of Lenin?

I studied him in college and so my feelings are mixed. ... This is embarrassing. Maybe I used to drive too fast through Fremont. But for as political as I am, I'm embarrassed to say that I always thought it was a statue of Ivar (as in clam chowder). He has this cap on and he's looking toward Ballard. If you think about it, that makes so much more sense than (there being a statue for) a Russian dictator in Fremont.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: antiamericanism; art; bewaretheredmenace; bushhaters; coldwar; commies; communism; communists; communistsinamerica; doublestandard; fremont; lenin; leninites; marxists; mccarthywasright; prodictator; reddiaperdoperbabies; reddupes; redmenace; revisionisthistory; sculpture; seattle; socialism; socialists; sovietunion; statue; theredmenace; usefulidiot; usefulidits; vladmirlenin; worldwar3; worldwariii
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When Saddam Hussein was toppled, I suggested in a letter to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce that they pick up a statue of Saddam on the cheap, put it next to Lenin and create a matched set.

They haven't responded yet.

1 posted on 11/26/2004 11:23:49 AM PST by Publius
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To: Cacique; firebrand

For all its faults, at least NYC has never put up a statue of Lenin.


2 posted on 11/26/2004 11:30:18 AM PST by Clemenza (Gabba Gabba Hey!)
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To: Publius

"When Saddam Hussein was toppled, I suggested in a letter to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce that they pick up a statue of Saddam on the cheap, put it next to Lenin and create a matched set."

Comes the (Conservative) Revolution will come many changes, comrade!


3 posted on 11/26/2004 11:31:29 AM PST by doxteve
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To: Publius
100 combat veterans with acetylene torches ought to fix ole Vlad's little red wagon
4 posted on 11/26/2004 11:31:59 AM PST by joesnuffy ("The merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it." Horatio Seymour)
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To: Publius

Remember that April Fools day when Chris Buckley reported the Russians were sending Lenin's body on a world tour to raise hard cash? What a gas!


5 posted on 11/26/2004 11:33:19 AM PST by Cruising Speed
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To: Publius
But in Fremont, they're going to light up -- what else? -- the big statue of Vladimir Lenin.

Blue Staters. What a bunch of idiots.

6 posted on 11/26/2004 11:33:20 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: Publius

Hey... I object... they promised me they would put up a statue of GeekDejure !!! ;-))


7 posted on 11/26/2004 11:37:24 AM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: doxteve
I've always viewed the Lenin statue as trophy of our victory in the Cold War. Think of it as a rather large, bronze cookskin nailed over the mantlepiece. Adding Saddam as another large, bronze coonskin struck me as poetic justice.

It's like a collection of trophies or a series of deer and moose heads displayed in the den.

8 posted on 11/26/2004 11:38:17 AM PST by Publius
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To: Libertina; Billthedrill

Lenin ping.


9 posted on 11/26/2004 11:40:11 AM PST by Publius
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To: Texas Eagle

But in Fremont, they're going to light up -- what else? --

...a big doobie?


10 posted on 11/26/2004 11:48:00 AM PST by Rakkasan1 (Justice of the Piece: Hope IS on the way...)
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To: Rakkasan1

I guess I shouldn't implicate the whole state of Warshington. Just the blue county-ites.


11 posted on 11/26/2004 11:54:04 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: libfo

Hillary and Chuckie or Osama Mamma and CantSpell, you make the call...


13 posted on 11/26/2004 11:57:17 AM PST by Clemenza (Gabba Gabba Hey!)
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To: Publius

On another note, I am I alone in thinking that Fremont is the most overrated neighborhood in Seattle?


14 posted on 11/26/2004 11:58:37 AM PST by Clemenza (Gabba Gabba Hey!)
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To: Publius
I've always viewed the Lenin statue as trophy of our victory in the Cold War.

I agree. At first "Che'" T-shrts bothered me until I talked to a moron wearing one. I found that Che` was in appropriate company. Lenin's statue is appropriately collecting bird guano.

15 posted on 11/26/2004 12:06:53 PM PST by elbucko ( Feral Republican)
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To: Publius
When are they going to have time to do this wonderful Commie lighting? King county still has ballots to forge and votes to skew. If they don't get busy they won't get their next Commie Gov into office.
16 posted on 11/26/2004 12:13:43 PM PST by Splatter
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To: Publius

are they finally coming out of the woodwork?
(such brilliant, superior, intellectual giants)


17 posted on 11/26/2004 12:23:09 PM PST by ripley
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Publius

Nothing about this amuses me.


19 posted on 11/26/2004 12:42:19 PM PST by Rightfootforward
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To: joesnuffy

Doesn't the city of Fremont need a public urinal? That statue would serve admirably.


20 posted on 11/26/2004 12:52:25 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Clemenza

Fremont has some fine ethnic restaurants, excellent brewpubs and some interesting statuary, of which the Lenin statue is but one example. I find it more interesting than the U-District and about as interesting as Ballard, which has its own fine restaurants and brewpubs.


21 posted on 11/26/2004 12:56:28 PM PST by Publius
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To: All

LLL Tradition.. Lighting Of Lenin

Loony Liberal Left
22 posted on 11/26/2004 12:59:05 PM PST by Splatter
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To: Publius

"I've always viewed the Lenin statue as trophy of our victory in the Cold War."

I seem to recall that the original guy up in Issaquah had that in mind when he boiught it. I still get a kick out of seeing Lenin in front of shops where people make money selling whatever they want, and people passing out fliers denouncing the "regime" of President Bush. Capitalism and Free Speech. In your face Vladimar. I like driving by there better now after the election and seeing all the Kerry stickers and beret-headed liberals!


23 posted on 11/26/2004 1:01:40 PM PST by geopyg (Peace..................through decisive and ultimate VICTORY. (Democracy, whiskey, sexy))
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To: Splatter

Lenin Ping


24 posted on 11/26/2004 1:02:12 PM PST by Splatter
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To: Publius
I studied him in college and so my feelings are mixed. ...

WHAT IS THIS PERSON SMOKING, CRACK???!!!???

HOW CAN YOU HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT ON OF THE WORLD GREATEST MASS-MURDERS??!!!

25 posted on 11/26/2004 1:28:47 PM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: Publius
Some people complained about the statue when it went up because they thought it took his regime's repression lightly. Do you still get complaints?

One guy came in and started yelling at my people, like it was their fault.

Just wait until they put up their statue of Adolph Hitler. Communism has been soft sold by American socialists still intent on getting their way.

Red dupes are useful idiots and still serving the Evil Empire.

26 posted on 11/26/2004 2:20:23 PM PST by weegee (WE FOUGHT ZOGBYISM November 2, 2004 - 60 Million Voters versus 60 Minutes - BUSH WINS!!!)
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To: Clemenza

No, but we have Eleanor Roosevelt.


27 posted on 11/26/2004 2:20:51 PM PST by firebrand
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To: geopyg
These commies love their post-modern irony:

I also think it's an interesting time to honor a controversial head of state.

Protest President Bush and honor Vladmir Lenin.

28 posted on 11/26/2004 2:23:31 PM PST by weegee (WE FOUGHT ZOGBYISM November 2, 2004 - 60 Million Voters versus 60 Minutes - BUSH WINS!!!)
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To: AmericaUnited
HOW CAN YOU HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT ON OF THE WORLD GREATEST MASS-MURDERS??!!!

Exactly! WE HAVE A WINNER!

Why don't they just put up a statue of Hitler or Satan.

Left coast idiots.

29 posted on 11/26/2004 2:25:08 PM PST by Bon mots
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To: Publius

Since today's Russia is in some ways more free than America (a low flat tax), and since the Stalinist Michael Moore earns himself a seat at the DNC next to President Jimmy Carter, why not maintain the dictator's statue as a talisman for collectivists to bow down before?


30 posted on 11/26/2004 2:36:43 PM PST by billndin
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To: Clemenza; PARodrig
Give it time. The Hispanics will demand a staue of Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos, Emiliano Zapata and probably Fidel Castro. Someone is bound to plant the idea in Nydia Velasquez head.



31 posted on 11/26/2004 2:42:52 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat)
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To: Publius

The staue in question for those who've never seen it




32 posted on 11/26/2004 2:47:39 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat)
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To: joesnuffy

You'd think there'd be at least one brave soul who would at the very least put panties on his head.


33 posted on 11/26/2004 2:52:43 PM PST by monkeywrench
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To: Cacique

a photo of a nausea-inducing visage of socialist tyranny.
(in other words, the sight of it makes me sick to my stomache)


34 posted on 11/26/2004 3:11:34 PM PST by ripley
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To: Clemenza
Lenin is a role model?

They want their kids to grow up to be another Lenin.

35 posted on 11/26/2004 3:54:23 PM PST by TYVets
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To: Cruising Speed

Do you recall Billy Crystal's "Midnight Train from Moscow" HBO special in the Nineties where he suggested turning Lenin's tomb into an amusement park? Leninland?


36 posted on 11/26/2004 4:04:50 PM PST by Publius
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To: Rightfootforward

Me either....that statue should be melted down and used as bullets to shoot Hollywood Liberal Types (After the Conservative Revolution of course:0) )


37 posted on 11/26/2004 4:05:56 PM PST by TexConfederate1861 (Sic Semper Tyrannis!)
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To: Splatter

Where did you get that photo? Was it something that somebody did with Photoshop?


38 posted on 11/26/2004 4:07:11 PM PST by Publius
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To: geopyg
Capitalism and Free Speech. In your face Vlad...

I also love the irony of it. The Fremont Chamber of Commerce views the statue as a conversation piece and a trophy of our victory. But the inhabitants of Fremont look at it completely without irony and with a sense of genuine devotion. They don't know that those of us who appreciate commerce and respect a dollar are pulling their little red legs. At least we understand that they're being ridiculous, and we're making capitalistic bucks off their silliness.

39 posted on 11/26/2004 4:12:33 PM PST by Publius
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To: Clemenza

They done worse. This used to stand in front of City Hall until Mayor Laguardia banished it to the Queens County Courthouse.

40 posted on 11/26/2004 4:18:45 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: weegee
Red dupes are useful idiots and still serving the Evil Empire.

I have to disagree with you on this. I see them as hopeless romantics, like the people of my father's generation who spoke nostalgically of joining the Abraham Lincoln Bridage to fight Franco and the Fascists in Spain. I still see some of it in baby boomers who live nostalgically for the days of their youth when they were demonstrating in the streets against the war or racism or some such thing. It's a sign of people who don't want to grow up and face reality, a kind of political Peter Pan-ism.

41 posted on 11/26/2004 4:18:49 PM PST by Publius
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To: billndin
...why not maintain the dictator's statue as a talisman for collectivists to bow down before?

Capital idea. Then, while they're bowing down before it, call in air strikes.

42 posted on 11/26/2004 4:20:20 PM PST by Publius
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To: TYVets; Clemenza
They want their kids to grow up to be another Lenin.

Du-u-u-ude, you're so wrong! They don't want their kids to achieve, they want their kids to just be!

(Dude, don't bogart the bong.)

43 posted on 11/26/2004 4:23:19 PM PST by Publius
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To: Splatter
When are they going to have time to do this wonderful Commie lighting? King county still has ballots to forge and votes to skew. If they don't get busy they won't get their next Commie Gov into office.

You misunderestimate the King County Democratic organization. They are political Mozarts, capable of multitasking and carrying on a variety of nefarious schemes at once.

44 posted on 11/26/2004 4:25:04 PM PST by Publius
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
This used to stand in front of City Hall until Mayor Laguardia banished it to the Queens County Courthouse.

Queens County? Hm-m-m-m-m. Did Laguardia know something that nobody else knew at the time?

45 posted on 11/26/2004 4:27:09 PM PST by Publius
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To: Publius

There are a few sane people.. more than half. Then there are people who know no better.


46 posted on 11/26/2004 4:38:49 PM PST by Splatter
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To: Publius

Yeah, some prog like that.


47 posted on 11/26/2004 4:39:35 PM PST by Splatter
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To: Publius
Merwin, who moved here from Vashon Island (which has its own share of characters), said her friends worried about her living in the big city. "But then when they heard I was going to Fremont, they said, 'Oh, she'll fit right in there.'"

I'm not sure if she understands that this sentiment isn't exactly a compliment. Fremont is full of people in various stages of vegetative decay; some are worse than others.

Personally, I'd prefer that strung lights on the Fremont Bridge Troll or the "Waiting for the Inter-Urban" statue.

48 posted on 11/26/2004 4:49:47 PM PST by longshadow
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To: longshadow
Fremont is full of people in various stages of vegetative decay...

LOL !!

49 posted on 11/26/2004 4:51:12 PM PST by Publius
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To: Publius
The infamous "Fremont Troll".


50 posted on 11/26/2004 4:57:21 PM PST by WildTurkey
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