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Rogue Head Makes Unexpected Appearance

It was only a tourist attraction for an hour or so, but a bust of a man caused a ruckus when it mysteriously appeared in St. Petersburg, Florida. A driver reported the bust, glued to a concrete guardrail on the Misener Bridge on southbound I-275, during morning rush hour on March 19 — and added that it was the bust of local matriarch Adela Gonzmart, whose bronze likeness had disappeared from outside of her popular restaurant in February.

The press response to the discovery of the bust was reported in The Tampa Tribune: “When local media thought the sculpture was the missing Gonzmart statue, reporters and television station helicopters converged on the site. One cameraman was almost hit by a passing car….”

The driver’s head identification was, however, flawed — a problem that we often have when we drive by something too fast. The bust was not made of bronze, but of cement, and it wasn’t of a woman, but of a bearded, bald-headed man. It turns out to be a visage of Dick Misener, the man who built the Misener bridge. It was an exact copy of a bust in Misener’s mausoleum — he died in 1987 — although police went to Woodlawn Memory Garden and found that that bust was still in place.

The concrete likeness was pried off of the bridge — the glue was reportedly still wet — and taken to St. Petersburg police’s property department. How it was made and who put it on the bridge remain mysteries.

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