Spirit of the Prairie: a Mom-ument
Kansas native Charlie Norton sculpted this 11-foot-tall bronze mom in 1985, using his wife and son as models. Titled "Spirit of the Prairie," it depicts a mother circa 1885, a young boy propped on her right hip, her left arm raised high over her head waving some unidentifiable piece of cloth. She's facing West, and most people assume that she's either waving goodbye or hello to her husband. The prairie wind plasters her head-to-foot dress against her; the skirt flows behind and the cloth is twisted every which way. Not exactly a happy statue, but she does seem more hopeful than the grim-faced women in most other pioneer mom statues.