Franklin High School, one of three Portland HSs not named after a US President (name the other two!), owns this weird cement Benjamin Franklin statue, which oversees the football field. He’s embarrassingly dressed as an oatmeal box Quaker (and the school nickname is “The Quakers” – church and state anyone?), and his head is filthy with bird scat.

On the front are etched the words “Benjamin Franklin, Statesman Scientist, Gift of the Alumni and Students, Executed by the Oregon Art Project, Work Projects Administration, 1942.” The statesman / scientist duality is demonstrated by the topcoat being long on one side, short on the other, and underneath he appears to be wearing a toga.

On the rear is written “One To-Day is Worth Two To-Morrows.” Perhaps some prescient reference to football practice.

Read the WPA wiki.
Read Franklin’s plan for developing the moral character of young men (he would have dismissed football as foolishness). There is much more than this short web page – see Ben’s Autobio for everything. If a Portland HS teacher helped his students use this model, we would all be improved in their presence.
Leonard Lopate had a nice twisted piece on Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues.
Read the Franklin wiki.

Tomorrow I’ll show you another GREAT BIG Franklin statue – which it’s unlikely you’ve seen or know about.

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