It was now time for Franc to educate me and my education began with the explanation of what is called a maquette. No, no it’s not that college in Wisconsin that was once an NCAA basketball power. It’s a small clay model of a statue.
Franc was struck by the dichotomy between Ted never tipping his cap and the tenderness of his heart. The heart which devoted countless hours to the kids of the Jimmy Fund.
It was in that dichotomy where Franc’s vision was born. It was Ted’s heart that Franc wanted to “free from the slumbering stone.” It was Ted’s heart which he gave to those kids of the Jimmy Fund! Franc saw Ted, not simply tipping his hat, but GIVING it to a kid, a Jimmy Fund kid!
Franc Talarico had come to know Ted Williams.
Not the superstar baseball player.
Not the “greatest hitter who ever lived.”
Franc had come to know Ted Williams’ heart and thus had come to know the man.
And Franc’s vision was coming to fruition.
I didn’t see much of Franc for a while. He was locked in his studio breathing life into his vision. Then one day I got a phone call and he told me he needed a human model. He needed a baseball player in uniform and he asked me about my son. My son was a Venice High School baseball player so I asked him and in about a half a second Franc had his model. Josh went to Franc’s studio and Franc took photo after photo after photo. He took shots from every angle and then Franc went back to work on ‘the stone”.
And from a small art studio in the Golden Beach area of Venice Florida, an iconic image was emerging. An image of the heart of a man who was larger than life itself.
To be continued…..
And so it was, at this time in Fenway Park history, the fall of 2002.