Traditionally, the first robin indicates that spring is on its way. In Hope, B.C., though it’s the sighting John Rambo.
Hope Communities in Bloom volunteers took Hope’s favourite vigilante out of his winter home and down Wallace Street. The wood-carved likeness of John Rambo stood tall on the forks of a forklift, model M60 gun firmly in both hands, eyes vigilant as Victor Smith drove the drifter down Wallace Street on April 1.
The statue was back at its perch near District Hall in a matter of minutes with a few socially distant onlookers taking in the sight.
Edmonton-based chainsaw carver Ryan Villiers created this red cedar tribute to Hope’s most famous blockbuster, “First Blood.” Villiers is also famous for carving lifelike statues of sportscasting legend Don Cherry and the beloved Norm from “Cheers.”
The statue and its placement was Communities in Bloom’s biggest project at $10,000 excluding volunteer hours and donated products (for example, the sling of bullets around Rambo’s shoulder are real and from an army surplus store). Two months after its late summer debut, the statue was put away for the winter in late October to ensure the cold weather and elements didn’t do any damage to the carving.
Hope Communities in Bloom extended thanks to Hope Towing for the winter storage and Canyon Cable for the forklift use.