The Shriners fraternal organization is well known for its generous work in children's hospitals. But their lofty member titles, secretive rites, Islamic art trappings, and parade antics in tiny cars also attract our interest. See a statue wearing a fez -- gotta stop.
In this case we had to drop someone off at the airport first, and came back to check out the Commemorative Plaza at the Shriners' International Headquarters. The circular plaza features a fountain, surrounded by walls with the engraved names of past Imperial Potentates. At the center of the fountain stands a cylinder -- engraved with the names of the 22 Shriner hospitals.
On top of the cylinder stands a 9-ft. tall shriner in a fez. He carries a little girl in one hand and a crutch in the other.
The statue was dedicated in 1993, the work of Tampa sculptor Harrison Covington. Now known as "Editorial Without Words," the figure became so popular that it has been reproduced in castings at over 100 other Shriner locations.
The HQ building also features an 11 ft. long scimitar, added in 2002.