So, how do you move a 10,000 lb. marble elephant across town? Very slowly and very carefully.
The marble statue, now at home at City Park next to Bobby Gruhn Field, was transported from the main campus of Memorial Park Funeral Home off Browns Bridge Road during the mid-morning hours Thursday.
The president of Memorial Park Funeral Homes found the statue on a trip to Vietnam and thought it might be a fitting gift for Gainesville High School; the school's mascot is the Red Elephant.
"I saw it about three times before it dawned on me what could be," said Jack Frost.
He returned to the states and told his then-operations manager Bimbo Brewer, a Gainesville High alumnus, about the sculpture. Brewer went to the school and determined they wanted the gift. On a return trip to Vietnam, Frost made the purchase.
Unfortunately, Brewer never saw the statue. He died unexpectedly in an auto accident after suffering a heart attack on January 5, 2017. The statue will be dedicated to his memory.
The gift comes just in time for the celebration of Gainesville High School's 125th anniversary on Sunday, February 26. There were some moments when Memorial Park officials thought the sculpture might not arrive before the big day.
"When it left Vietnam, it encountered a typhoon and went into a port somewhere," said current operations manager Scott Wiley. He said Brewer had begun the search for the sculpture when he passed away. It wasn't until January 17 that the sculpture arrived at the Port of Savannah.
"From that point, we had it trucked up here and now we've made a permanent home for it here at the stadium." Wiley said.
The dedication ceremony for the statue is open to public. It will be held Monday, February 20 at 4 p.m.