John Paulding, American sculptor, 1883 – 1935, made and sold dozens of lively bronze sculptures of US World War I soldiers, called doughboys, and sold them to various patriotic post-war clubs, American Legion Halls and the like. This one, Over the Top at Cantigny, arrived in 1926 and is set over a couple of public toilets, near Pig N’ Pancake, on the main drag in Astoria, recently overwhelmed by traffic and the far more interesting Astoria-Megler Bridge.

They all look about the same, from the pictures online.

The soldier is depicted as charging from a trench, through barbed wire with rifle raised (probably wasn’t drilled to attack in this manner.) The style is dull and mechanical.

There are some flowers, a marble bench, a US flag with a MIA POW flag. And of course the public toilet.

The bridge is really impressively big. While in Astoria, also tune in to their great public radio station KMUN, visit Bach N’ Rock which somewhat successfully mixes CDs and pets, and the Astoria Column, a truly weird and wonderful public art byproduct of industrial wealth.

Imagine Port Townsend without good restaurants or hotels.

Overwrought but brief biography of Paulding.

Some of Paulding’s papers are at the U of Michigan.

Doughboy Center – The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces

Earl D. Goldsmith’s Spirit of the American Doughboy Database

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