Boy and the Boot
Wallingford takes pride in its Boy and the Boot, one of a handful of similar Boy and the Boot statues around the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Boy is colorfully painted, with his eyes closed as if eternally sleepwalking through town. His right boot, held aloft, dribbles a stream of water into a circular pool.
A plaque on the fountain reads: "Erected to the memory of Arnold Young by his children, April 3, 1898." Why? East of Wallingford, in Cuttingsville, the equally obscure Mr. Bowman had a marble statue of himself made for people to remember him (and he wasn't even dead yet). Would Mr. Young, who owned the Wallingford Inn until 1870, have chosen a different memorial, rather than the one chosen for him by his children -- that of a boy holding aloft a leaking boot?
Around 1910 the Boy disappeared from the streets of Wallingford, apparently retired, as his original use as the town's horse watering trough had come to an end. But he would not stay retired. He turned up ten years later in the Wallingford Inn's attic, and in 1927 he was installed on the Inn's lawn. Despite this narrower focus, the Boy remains the civic symbol of the entire town. The Official Home Page of Wallingford features an animated Boy and the Boot, water merrily arcing from the boot in an endless loop.
But all may not be peaceful in Wallingford. Next to the Boy and the Boot we saw anarchist "Fight The Power" symbols sprayed on the town's new traffic light and crosswalk signals.
Could the Boy and the Boot be targeted for kidnapping, or worse, as have so many of his less-fortunate brethren? We don't think so. He stands in clear view of the front porch of the Wallingford Inn, where old people hang out. They have a clear view of the Boy, and could shout an alarm if any young hooligans try to stop up the boot hole with gum, or stain the water blue by pouring Ty-D-Bol into it.