Here's Where You Can Find 43 Presidential Heads Just Waiting to Be Seen
Howard Hankins, boyish at 61, with dimples and a wry smile, rests an arm on the open window of his pickup truck, squinting in the late-afternoon sun. He used to sell dirt. Now, among other activities, he recycles concrete, a more lucrative contract. Here on his family farm in unincorporated Croaker, Virginia, ten miles north of Colonial Williamsburg, the markings of his business surround him: heavy machinery, shipping containers, mountains of dirt and debris. “My time is not cheap,” he says. “I get paid a lot of money just to tell people what to do with projects. I do a lot. I develop land and on and on and on.”
Up ahead, colossal busts of the first 43 American presidents – each one nearly 20-feet-tall and somewhere between 11,000 and 20,000 pounds of concrete and steel – rise from the dirt, skirted by weeds and wood chips. Teddy throws shade on Harding, Harding on Carter, Carter on Hoover. A knot of rebar sprouts from FDR’s forehead. William Henry Harrison looks like he just crawled home from a bar fight: bruised face, cracked chin, cut above the eye. Lincoln still cuts an imposing figure, though an ironic five-foot-wide hole in the parietal exposes a hollow, mangled frame. And what of poor William Taft? He quietly weeps, a single water stain trailing from eye to cheek. Far from chintzy, the busts are so lifelike, so detailed, one could easily picture them waking up at any moment and holding congress.