If you are walking around a large public area and happen across a seat, you’re going to borrow it for a bit even if you don’t necessarily need it.
If you own that public area and want to tell a story, put a piece of public art there. It will engage people, tell that story, and give them a chance to learn more about your story.
That’s all rather common, people have done that sort of adornment for as long as there have been people. Cave paintings started it all, and we have progressed from that.
In the case of the bench, this is a bit more than a random occurrence.
I told my cousin Bill when we had our visit to have a seat next to the little old lady and we’ll get a picture of you for when you go back home. A digital souvenir. Bill doesn’t like having pictures taken of him, something I can understand. I tend to be that guy behind the camera and not in front of it, which is why you see very few pictures of myself on this blog.
So we had our curmudgeonly grumblings back and forth and didn’t see a sign explaining why there was a bronze representation of a little old lady under a giant Gumbo Limbo tree enjoying her morning, but eventually we figured we’d find some rather insistent volunteer who would tell us all about her.
It turns out that this particular little old lady absolutely deserved the honor of place and presence.
She was the writer of the book that drew the rest of the world’s attention to the beauty of the Everglades and was responsible for Florida becoming the tourist attraction it is today. If you visit Florida, love or live here, it is in part because of this woman. She was Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who worked as a writer, Secretary for Fairchild Gardens, and quite a long resume of works for the public good. Certainly deserving memory and a visit from us and the attention that she gets every day at Fairchild Gardens.
A rather pretty spot to sit down, have a regroup, and a sip of water from your canteen under the shade of a spreading tree.