Reunion flamingos survive hacking, achieve immortality as museum display
The flamingos of the class of 1966 were a highlight of Reunion 2016, remarked on by college staff and members of all classes. They graced Tower Court inside and out. Most impressive was the 66 on Severance Hill made entirely of flamingos. But alas, our flamboyance of flamingos aroused envy in the hearts of some of our fellow alumnae. (As the Shadow might have said, Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of women!)
Nefarious members of the class of '96 hack our flamingos!
In the dark of night, masked marauders rearranged our flamingos to read—brace yourself—96! Oh, shame!
Here's documentary evidence, provided by Chris Miller, who met the ringleader at a New York Wellesley Club event. Said ringleader's comment: "You guys begged for change! I had to respond to the Class of 66's call to action :-)" The hackers were photographically caught in the act in the early hours of Sunday, June 5 (between 1:22 and 1:49 a.m., according to the time stamps on the photos). See the culprits at work, doing their dastardly deed. Note the evidence in the hand of one masked marauder!
But, wait--there was a previous hack!
The '96 ringleader told Chris that when the masked marauders arrived, they found that another class had been before them! Other flamingo rearrangers—or was it a Lone Rearranger? Look at that suspicious figure in the picture—turned our lovely 66 into 01, making what should have been an easy job for '96 into a challenge. And now we have documentary evidence of the previous hack. Our webmistress knows a member of '01 through the Boston Wellesley club, an innocent member, since she was unable to get to this reunion. But she provided this photo—from an anonymous source.
Our gallant student workers to the rescue!
Our good guys didn't wear white hats, they wore blue shirts—the badge of honor for the student workers at reunion. And here they are at work reversing the hack. We will be eternally grateful!
NOTE: Our student workers assured us that no flamingos were harmed in the restoration of our 66. We hope the same was true of the depradations by other alumnae.
Our flamingos live to see another day
Thanks to classmate Jean Borgatti, many of our flamingos had a second act!
As soon as Jean saw our flamingos, she decided she needed to find a way to use them in conjunction with the exhibit Plastic Imagination at the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, MA, September 25, 2016–January 15, 2017. Here’s a blurb from the exhibit announcement:
Plastics have been part of the Leominster-Fitchburg economic base for a long time. The flamingo was developed in Leominster by a (then) young man who had graduated from the school of the Worcester Art Museum in 1957 and took a position with a company in Leominster that made garden ornaments. They are now manufactured in Fitchburg–hence our particular interest.
On January 11, ten classmates in New England gathered at the exhibit for a mini-reunion. Click here for pictures.
For the story of the pink flamingo in American culture, click here to see the obituary of its creator.