'Windy-Man' Controversy Blows Across Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/9/04

'Windy-Man' Controversy Blows Across Lubbock

The image can be found right across the street from Cavenders and Joe's Crab Shack. It's on the side of this retaining wall which is phase one of the Marsha Sharp Freeway.

Seven years ago, a committee decided on Windy Man saying the image celebrates Lubbock's winds. But some people are insulted by the image calling it a pagan god.

The Windy Man has been thought of as a pagan god by religious groups in Lubbock. Since the Windy Man was installed last month, several people have written letters to the editor in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. One person said, "It displays to our neighbors nationwide that we are allowing pagan gods to be displayed surrounding our city." Another letter says, "God has blessed us with abundant rain for the farmers and we insult Him by putting up wind gods."

But a Lubbock Advisory Committee who came up with the idea of Windy-Man seven years ago, had no intentions of it being taken the wrong way.

Texas Department of Transportation District Engineer Randy Hopmann says the plan was to install 20 windy men along the Marsha Sharp Freeway. Hopmann says Windy Man costs $750 a panel. "The committee was looking for something unique to Lubbock that was playful, whimsical, Disney-like and they chose to celebrate the winds because all of their ideas, for the most part, have wind associated with it."

TX-DoT has installed only one Windy-Man. And there's a chance it could be the only one, since some people are uncomfortable with it. But others we talked to were not bothered by it at all. "It means nothing to me. It's a decoration."

The Chamber of Commerce has been working on an image campaign for Lubbock. This campaign will work toward creating maybe other positive depictions that can be displayed on the retaining walls in place of the Windy-Man.

But as far as this Windy-Man already on display, we're told more than likely, it will stay right where it is.

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