Someone stole a metal sculpture Wednesday morning from in front of the library. KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke to the artist who created and donated the sculpture. She said she is afraid whoever stole it will sell it as scrap metal.
By day, Rebecca Stover wields the tools of a hair stylist but just about anytime else she is sculpting, making metal into art. One of her favorites is a sculpture she made of her grandson, Shaun Lucero. Up until Wednesday, the statue sat atop a rock in front of the Juan Tabo library.
"That's my grandson at ten years old and I thought how wonderful to have him there frozen in time forever at ten," Stover said.
The half-year process creating it was pain staking, hammering metal into the exact size and likeness of Shaun all the way down to individual strands of hair.
"Every wrinkle in the pants, the way that he sits, the way he holds the book...the title of the book, there's even writing inside of the book there's just a lot of detail," Stover said.
Shaun is now 17, but Stover will forever remember what inspired her to create the sculpture years ago.
"The Juan Tabo Library is where we went every week…got new books, he learned to read from those books," she explained.
Stover said her family is disheartened, including her father, retired Albuquerque Police Chief Bob Stover. She hopes somehow the sculpture will show up soon and that will be a way of giving her family something more to be thankful for.
"It belongs to the library, it belongs to the public...it belongs to the people of the city so they've lost a piece of artwork that I wanted them to have," Stover said.
raising a family for you, and I'll say--"
"You'll say not until I get the biggest scoop in Arizona, a big raise, and a bonus as a down payment on a house," he completed her sentence.
"There! You see? We might just as well not have our date. In effect, we've had it already."
He looked at her for a long moment, and when he spoke again his voice had lost its humorous note.
"You forgot one very important item. When I ask you that usual question, and after you give your usual answer, I'll take you in my arms and tell you how much you mean to me, and--"
"You win," she interrupted him. "I had forgotten about that."
The dog started to pull against the leash again and Fred reached out to help her hold the big animal in check. Then she looked at him again.
"What brings you to the outskirts of Tucson? Don't tell me there's a big story breaking on the edge of town."
He shook his head. "Not exactly. I'm on my way to the Rocket Research Proving Grounds. Just a routine story on the experiment they're going to pull off this evening. I've got to interview Mathieson, Gaddon, and a
few other scientists on the project."
The girl laughed. "That's something of a coincidence. Dr. Blair Gaddon is in Dr. Fenwick's office right now."
Fred Trent's eyebrows raised in surprise.
Will they destroy life, or produce immortality?
The eminent Dr. Blair Gaddon thought he knew ...
Fred Trent pulled his coupe into the curb and leaned his head out the open window beside him.
"Hi, Joan, need any help?"
He called to a trim-looking girl in a nurse's uniform. Joan Drake was holding on to a leash with both hands, and her slender body was tugging against the leash as she strained against the pull of a Great Dane on the other end.
She looked over her shoulder as Trent called out, her blonde hair glinting in the warm afternoon sunlight. Blue eyes smiled an impish greeting at him.
"Hello, Fred. No thanks. Brutus and I get along famously."
Trent opened the car door and got out. He walked up the sidewalk and stood beside the girl.
[Illustration: They watched as white-hot flames shot from the base of the cradled rocket. There was a tremendous roaring, and then the rocket slowly lifted upward.]
"Business must be mighty slack for the great gland specialist, Stanley Fenwick. Is this all he can find for his pretty nurse to do?"
The girl sniffed. "Walking Brutus around has its compensations. At least he doesn't get fresh--like some people I now."
Fred grinned as he saw the huge dog suddenly turn on its leash and raise itself off the ground to stick out a long rapier-like tongue and lick the girl's cheek before she could move her head away.
"Down, Brutus! Down!" she called out, half-laughing.
Trent stepped in and pulled the big animal away from the girl, patting the dog's head as he did so.
"What was that you said about getting fresh?" Trent asked her. "Looks to me like the dog's life is the best around the Fenwick offices."
"Just don't get any ideas!" Joan Drake shot back.
"I've already got them," he replied. "Which reminds me, am I seeing you tonight?"
The girl held a tight grip on the leash and looked at him coyly.
To be continued.........
First thing in the morning, he'd unpack that trunk and go over all those maps. There were half a dozen spaceports and maintenance shops and shipyards within a half-day by airboat, none of which had been looted. He'd look them all over; that would take a couple of weeks. Pick the best shipyard and concentrate on it. Kurt Fawzi'd be the man to recruit labor. Professor Kellton was a scholar, not a scientist. He didn't know beans about hyperdrive engines, but he knew how to do library research.
They came to the edge of High Garden Terrace at the escalator, long motionless, its moving parts rusted fast, that led down to the Mall, and at the bottom of it was Senta's, the tables under the open sky.
A crowd was already gathering. There was Tom Brangwyn, and there was Kurt Fawzi and his wife, and Lynne. And there was Senta herself, fat and dumpy, in one of her preposterous red-and-purple dresses, bustling about, bubbling happily one moment and screaming invective at some laggard waiter the next.
The dinner, Conn knew, would be the best he had eaten in five years, and afterward they would sit in the dim glow of Beta Gartner, sipping coffee and liqueurs, smoking and talking and visiting back and forth from one table to another, as they always did in the evenings at Senta's. Another bit from Eirrarsson's poem came back to him:
_We sit in the twilight, the shadows among,
And we talk of the happy days when we were brave and young._
That was for the old ones, for Colonel Zareff and Judge Ledue and Dolf Kellton, maybe even for Tom Brangwyn and Franz Veltrin and for his father. But his brother Charley and the boys of his generation would have a future to talk about. And so would he, and Lynne Fawzi.
Conn swore impatiently. "You've been listening to old Klem Zareff ranting about the Lost Cause and the greedy Terran robber barons holding the Galaxy in economic serfdom while they piled up profits. The Federation didn't fight that war for profits; there weren't any profits to fight for. They fought it because if the System States had won, half of them would be at war among themselves now. Make no mistake about it, politically I'm all for the Federation. But economically, I want to see our people exploiting their own resources for themselves, instead of grieving about lost interstellar trade, and bewailing bumper crops, and searching for a mythical robot god."
"You think, if you can get something like that started, that they'll forget about the Brain?" his father asked skeptically.
"That crowd up in Kurt Fawzi's office? Niflheim, no! They'll go on hunting for the Brain as long as they live, and every day they'll be expecting to find it tomorrow. That'll keep them happy. But they're all old men. The ones I'm interested in are the boys of Charley's age. I'm going to give them too many real things to do--building ships, exploring the rest of the Trisystem, opening mines and factories, producing wealth--for them to get caught in that empty old dream."
He looked down at the dusty fountain on which his father sat. "That ghost-dream haunts this graveyard. I want to give them living dreams that they can make come true."
Conn's father sat in silence for a while, his cigar smoke red in the sunset. "If you can do all that, Conn.... You know, I believe you can. I'm with you, as far as I can help, and we'll have a talk with Charley. He's a good boy, Conn, and he has a lot of influence among the other youngsters." He looked at his watch. "We'd better be getting along. You don't want to be late for your own coming-home party."
Rodney Maxwell slid off the edge of the fountain to his feet, hitching at the gunbelt under his coat. Have to dig out his own gun and start wearing it, Conn thought. A man simply didn't go around in public without a gun in Litchfield. It wasn't decent. And he'd be spending a lot of time out in the brush, where he'd really need one.
To be Continued..........
"Not in Kurt's office; before we went up from the docks. There was Klem, moaning about a good year for melons as though it were a plague, and you selling arms and ammunition by the ton. Why, on Terra or Baldur or Uller, a glass of our brandy brings more than these freighter-captains give us for a cask, and what do you think a colonist on Agramma, or Sekht, or Hachiman, who has to fight for his life against savages and wild animals, would pay for one of those rifles and a thousand rounds of ammunition?"
His father objected. "We can't base the whole economy of a planet on brandy. Only about ten per cent of the arable land on Poictesme will grow wine-melons. And if we start exporting Federation salvage the way you talk of, we'll be selling pieces instead of job lots. We'll net more, but--"
"That's just to get us started. The ships will be used, after that, to get to Tubal-Cain and Hiawatha and the planets of the Beta and Gamma Systems. What I want to see is the mines and factories reopened, people employed, wealth being produced."
"And where'll we sell what we produce? Remember, the mines closed down because there was no more market."
"No more interstellar market, that's true. But there are a hundred and fifty million people on Poictesme. That's a big enough market and a big enough labor force to exploit the wealth of the Gartner Trisystem. We can have prosperity for everybody on our own resources. Just what do we need that we have to get from outside now?"
His father stopped again and sat down on the edge of a fountain--the same one, possibly, from which Conn had seen dust blowing as the airship had been coming in.
"Conn, that's a dangerous idea. That was what brought on the System States War. The Alliance planets took themselves outside the Federation economic orbit and the Federation crushed them."
To be Continued............
"Dad, computermen don't like to hear computers called smart," Conn said. "They aren't. The people who build them are smart; a computer only knows what's fed to it. They can hold more information in their banks than a man can in his memory, they can combine it faster, they don't get tired or absent-minded. But they can't imagine, they can't create, and they can't do anything a human brain can't."
"You know, I'd wondered about just that," said his father. "And none of the histories of the War even as much as mentioned the Brain. And I couldn't see why, after the War, they didn't build dozens of them to handle all these Galactic political and economic problems that nobody seems able to solve. A thing like the Brain wouldn't only be useful for war; the people here aren't trying to find it for war purposes."
"You didn't mention any of these doubts to the others, did you?"
"They were just doubts. You knew for sure, and you couldn't tell them."
"I'd come home intending to--tell them there was no Brain, tell them to stop wasting their time hunting for it and start trying to figure out the answers themselves. But I couldn't. They don't believe in the Brain as a tool, to use; it's a machine god that they can bring all their troubles to. You can't take a thing like that away from people without giving them something better."
"I noticed you suggested building a spaceship and agreed with the professor about building a computer. What was your idea? To take their minds off hunting for the Brain and keep them busy?"
Conn shook his head. "I'm serious about the ship--ships. You and Colonel Zareff gave me that idea."
His father looked at him in surprise. "I never said a word in there, and Klem didn't even once mention--"
To be Continued..............
The question angered Conn. It was what he had been asking himself.
"Why didn't I just grab a couple of pistols off the table and shoot the lot of them?" he retorted. "It would have killed them quicker and wouldn't have hurt as much."
His father took the cigar from his mouth and inspected the tip of it."The truth must be pretty bad then. There is no Brain. Is that it, son?"
"There never was one. I'm not saying that only because I know it would be impossible to build such a computer. I'm telling you what the one man in the Galaxy who ought to know told me--the man who commanded the Third Force during the War."
"Foxx Travis! I didn't know he was still alive. You actually talked to him?"
"Yes. He's on Luna, keeping himself alive at low gravity. It took me a couple of years, and I was afraid he'd die before I got to him, but I finally managed to see him."
"What did he tell you?"
"That no such thing as the Brain ever existed." They started walking again, more slowly, toward the far edge of the terrace, with the sky red and orange in front of them. "The story was all through the Third Force, but it was just one of those wild tales that get started, nobody knows how, among troops. The High Command never denied or even discouraged it. It helped morale, and letting it leak to the enemy was good psychological warfare."
"Klem Zareff says that everybody in the Alliance army heard of the Brain," his father said. "That was why he came here in the first place." He puffed thoughtfully on his cigar. "You said a computer like the Brain would be an impossibility. Why? Wouldn't it be just another computer, only a lot bigger and a lot smarter?"
To be Continued.........
"Well, now, Tom," Fawzi began piously, "the Brain is too big a thing for a few of us to try to monopolize; it'll be for all Poictesme. Of course, it's only proper that we, who are making the effort to locate it, should have the direction of that effort...."
While Fawzi was talking, Rodney Maxwell went to the table, rummaged his pistol out of the pile and buckled it on. The mayor stopped short.
"You leaving us, Rod?"
"Yes, it's getting late. Conn and I are going for a little walk; we'll be at Senta's in half an hour. The fresh air will do both of us good and we have a lot to talk about. After all, we haven't seen each other for over five years."
They were silent, however, until they were away from the Airport Building and walking along High Garden Terrace in the direction of the Mall. Conn was glad; his own thoughts were weighing too heavily within
him: I didn't do it. I was going to do it; every minute, I was going to do it, and I didn't, and now it's too late.
"That was quite a talk you gave them, son," his father said. "They believed every word of it. A couple of times, I even caught myself starting to believe it."
Conn stopped short. His father stopped beside him and stood looking at him.
"Why didn't you tell them the truth?" Rodney Maxwell asked.
"We can, but we may not even need to build one. When we get out to the industrial planets, we may find one ready except for perhaps some minor alterations."
"But how are we going to finance all this?" Klem Zareff demanded querulously. "We're poorer than snakes, and even one hyperdrive ship's going to cost like Gehenna."
"I've been thinking about that, Klem," Fawzi said. "If we can find material at these shipyards Conn knows about, most of our expense will be labor. Well, haven't we ten workmen competing for every job? They
don't really need money, only the things money can buy. We can raise food on the farms and provide whatever else they need out of Federation supplies."
"Sure. As soon as it gets around that we're really trying to do something about this, everybody'll want in on it," Tom Brangwyn predicted.
"And I have no doubt that the Planetary Government at Storisende will give us assistance, once we show that this is a practical and productive enterprise," Judge Ledue put in. "I have some slight influence with the President and--"
"I'm not too sure we want the Government getting into this," Kurt Fawzi replied. "Give them half a chance and that gang at Storisende'll squeeze us right out."
"We can handle this ourselves," Brangwyn agreed. "And when we get some kind of a ship and get out to the other two systems, or even just to Tubal-Cain or Hiawatha, first thing you know, we'll _be_ the Planetary Government.
To be Continued.......