WEIRD MACON: Ant sculpture a Christmas mystery

December 20, 2013 

This piece is part of a continuing series we call Macon in the Mirror. The project is being produced through a partnership involving the Center for Collaborative Journalism, Georgia Public Broadcasting and The Telegraph. The goal is to examine the community and convey your stories, passions and concerns.

Helen Meadors has seen a lot of weird things in Macon over the years. She added another one to her list as she drove down Riverside Drive during the winter of 2008. It’s still a mystery.

Meadors and a friend were leaving a downtown business when they noticed a peculiar sight on the side of the road, just down the street from Burger King.

“There’s a large pile of red clay, pointed at the top, and it looks like an ant hill,” Meadors recalled. “Somebody has made a welded sculpture of Santa Claus in a sleigh, and the reindeer are ants. And on the side of the sleigh it says, ‘Ho, ho,’ and he is driving the ants.”

The women pulled over and took pictures of the wrought-iron and dirt masterpiece. As they got closer, they noticed an even more peculiar aspect of the creation.

“(There’s) a separate ant, a bigger ant, and in front of him is a sign that says ‘I told you,’” Meadors said.

While pondering the oddity off and on for years, the women came up with an idea.

“My friend’s theory was that possibly somebody challenged another person to make a sculpture of ants and the challenger says, ‘Aw, no, you won’t do that,’ and so the sculptor did it,” Meadors said.

“She did make the sculpture and put, ‘I told you’ on there to say, ‘Look at what I did.’ ”

No matter who made it or why, the ants marched their way into Meadors’ memory forever.

“We kept the pictures and always wondered and always speculated about what is this thing that was so great and who did it?” she said. “That’s the weirdest thing I’ve seen in Macon.”

-- Marin Guta and Jane Hammond, Center for Collaborative Journalism

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