The mermaid in the photos was sculpted during the year 2001 by my husband Paul Boecher. It is mounted on a bar at the Newsroom Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. The bar is shaped like an old pirate ship and the mermaid is to indicate the masthead. (Disclaimer) I did not pose for this piece of art, but it is pretty cool. There’s an interesting story that goes along with the day it was delivered and installed.
Paul had worked diligently over a number of months in his warehouse studio. The statue is entirely hand carved and painted. The delivery was to be made only a week after the horrible tragedy of 9/11/2001. This was a very trying time in our country, with dedicated police officers on patrol looking for anything unusual. You can imagine how cautious everyone was. Even the most innocent item could create a stir. Paul wrapped the mermaid in a quilt to protect her, placed her in the back of his pick up truck and covered the entire space with a tarp. He then proceeded downtown to make his delivery.
Suddenly police sirens were going off and red lights blazed behind him. Being the good citizen that he is, he pulled over. An officer asked him to roll down his window which he did. He then asked Paul what he had in the back of his truck. Paul honestly replied, “It’s a mermaid.” Of course the policeman was not about to take any wise cracks so he ordered Paul out of his truck and asked for the keys to the topper. to which he complied. The officer put him up against the truck and began to frisk him as he tossed the keys to the other officer who would then open the back and uncover the evidence.
The first officer called out, “What’s he got in there?”
The second officer replied, “It’s a mermaid. Then all three observed that it was indeed a mermaid as Paul explained that he was making a delivery. He also thanked the officers for their hypervigilance and continued to park and make his delivery.
It was a comical event that we continue to talk about to this day, but it also has a good message. The officers were doing their jobs. They weren’t at all abusive. Paul didn’t argue with them and was completely cooperative. The mermaid was just icing on the cake.