Historic buildings in downtown Great Bend provide a glimpse into the city’s interesting past. Nostalgic and handsome, they stand tall and distinct along the heart of Main Street and surrounding blocks. But building facades can only reveal so much. Local businesswoman Tammy Hammond has taken steps to enhance that glimpse by telling stories through a series of five bronze sculptures that she has collectively titled, “A Lifetime.”
Each of the bronzes provides human interest to the downtown landscape. She made a personal donation of the pieces to the City of Great Bend last April, but installation has been completed over the past four months, as time has allowed. The first bronze was set in late fall by Great Bend business Kustom Floor Designs; employees set the final sculpture less than two weeks ago. It was worth the wait to Hammond. She said she is pleased with the outcome and the message that each display conveys.
“When I came across these sculptures, as a series, they reminded me of how quickly life passes us by and how important it is to live life to make a difference,” she explained. “It is a timeless message. I hope many people will enjoy them for years to come as they reflect on their own lives.”
While the bronzes are identified as a set, they carry a trilogy of themes at the different locations, and each location bears a different name. In early November, “Remember When” became the first among the group of sculptures to be set. Located outside the Rosewood Furniture Gallery, at 1607 Main, “Remember When,” consists of three bronzes. The first comprises four elderly men, each donning touring caps and leaning against the rail. They are watching two young boys play baseball, one hitting and one pitching.
“You can almost hear the thoughts of those men as they recall their youth and share with one another the journey from those youthful days to the present and the community they built together in between those two points,” said Hammond.
In December, Kustom Floor installed “The Bucket List” at 1901 Lakin, outside of the Rosewood Wine Cellar. “Bucket List” comprises a senior couple, moderately dressed in their Sunday-best outfits, sitting closely together on a bench. The woman is holding a picnic basket on her lap. Hammond said the contented couple appear to be reminiscing about their long life together and the bucket list they lived to accomplish.
The final sculpture, set at 1223 Main, is titled “Dream Big.” A boy and a girl sit atop a world globe, back to back, and each is engrossed in reading a book.
“It reminds us to encourage the youth of today as they contemplate the dreams of tomorrow,” explained Hammond.
Plaques at each of the locations will help tell the story, said Hammond. All of those are expected to be in place by this summer.
“It’s taken time and detailed coordination,” but I’m happy to see what I envisioned more than a year ago finally come to life,” she said. “I thank the City and Kustom Floor for working with me to move this project to fruition. I also appreciate the community’s overwhelming support of the finished work. The positive comments mean a great deal to me.”