A kiss is still a kiss: Sarasota, Florida's V-J Day Kiss Statue
Edith Shain, who claimed she was the nurse getting swept off her feet in Times Square by the kiss of an anonymous sailor in an iconic Life Magazine photo shot on Victory Over Japan Day in 1945, died today. She was 91. Her passing is rather timely for us at Eccentric Roadside because just last week I took some pictures of a statue depicting the famous Alfred Eisenstadt photo on Route 41 in Sarasota, Florida. A great big one. Twenty-six feet tall to be exact. Entitled "Unconditional Surrender," it was created by noted sculptor Seward Johnson, the same artist responsible for the truly awesome 25-foot "American Gothic" replica we saw in Chicago last year, and it makes quite a statement along the busy palm treed boulevard, surrounded by high-rise condos and a luxurious marina. Sarasota was the statue's original home in 2005. It was then moved 3000 miles away to San Diego for a spell, and then returned in better than ever condition back to Sarasota in 2008. A June 18 post to roadsideamerica.com reports the smoochers were being craned onto a flatbed truck bound for New Jersey for some repairs before a triumphant Sarasota return engagement later on this July. Eisenstadt never got the names of the original celebrants and more than one nurse and sailor have claimed to be the make-out artists in the photo, but we believe you Edith. Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but us.