By Kristin Rover
One of the longest “river monsters” ever has washed up on the shores of the village of New Richmond according to Ray Perszyk, New Richmond resident and business ownere.
“The massive tree arrived in the spring flood and stayed,” Perszyk said about the large piece of river debris. “Our longest river monster is 80 feet long, the trunk is four feet in diameter.”
Perszyk said normally, trees that wash up on the shore will be carried away once the water gets high again, but he said this tree has stuck around.
And now, Perszyk and other business owners in the village are giving the river monster a little character by adding some paint to the bark.
“Finally we decided, it isn’t going any place, we might as well do something with it,” Perszyk said.
Perszyk said a graffiti face lift is being applied to the enormous log in between rain showers and storms.
Perszyk said Jan Meyer is helping him paint the log and Rick Lehn, with Lehn Painting, donated paint for the project.
“We started about a week ago, it really hasn’t taken that long,” Perszyk said.
He said he really wasn’t sure what people would think about the artwork, but he said they have been getting positive feedback.
“People are getting a kick out of it,” he said.
Perszyk said they are hoping to finish painting the log by the Fourth of July, said they are planning to paint “welcome” on the side of the log that faces boaters on the river.
Perszyk said the only setbacks they have had are storms and rain showers that have brought the water level up again. He said it’s only a matter of time before the water gets high enough to carry it away.
“Someday the river is going to come up again and the thing will be gone and down visiting someone else,” he said.
But he said the tradition of painting the river monsters might remain.
“If we get an interesting log every year we’ll just paint it,” Perszyk said.