Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tarpon Springs Sponge Diver Statue

Tarpon Springs is certainly proud of its sponge-diving heritage, and this statue of a diver dressed in an old-fashioned diving suit graces a city street.

But when I see these old-school diving suits, I can't help but think of the anecdote about Salvador Dali, in which he showed up to give a lecture at a university dressed in one of these suits, complete with bolted-on helmet. He launched into his speech oblivious to the fact that no one in the audience could understand him through the helmet. After some minutes of this, Dali realized that his handlers had provided no means for air in the suit, and he was suffocating. He began to make wild gestures, beseeching someone to help him and beating on the helmet, but the audience merely thought it was just part of Dali's surrealist performance-art. Fortunately, someone figured out just in time what was happened, and saved the world's greatest painter from what would have gone down in history as the strangest accidental death of a celebrity ever.

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