Hidden Hengers of Mississippi: Stonehenge Contagion Hits the Deep South!

Peghenge, henge and photo by Felder Rushing

Peghenge, henge and photo by Felder Rushing

It has been cold here in Clonehenge Central. England has had snow, and the usual rude snow sculptures have shown up in our internet feed. But down in the state of Mississippi, it is warm and lovely, and people can do their gardening—and garden henging—all year long. So it should be no surprise to anyone that the Stonehenge virus has had its way with people there just as it has everywhere else.

Meet Mr. Felder Rushing, native of Mississippi, radio personality, eccentric garden pundit and–henge enthusiast! Last week we were taking a healthful stroll around the Internet just to get the kind of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise you can’t get if you confine yourself to the social networks, when we stumbled on, without crushing it, we might add, the henge you see above. Some might call it a clothespin henge, but Peghenge would be a more familiar usage for most of our readers.

From there one (healthy aerobic) click took us to to his eclectic page of henges, which starts with Stonehenge itself and goes on through Avebury (we approve), a number of familiar Stonehenge replicas, on to his own and a friend’s garden henges, and to Newgrange and the white horses, by which we mean the chalk horses cut into a few English hillsides. No sign of the Uffington, but we’re in a forgiving mood.

James McCormick's Stonehenge, from Rushing's website

James McCormick’s Stonehenge, from Rushing’s website

The picture above is a stone circle in the garden of one of his friends, James McCormick in Starkville, Mississippi. Rather nice, we think! True, there are lintels only in the center, and they’re in a circle, not a horseshoe, but the reference is clear, it is aesthetically pleasing, and we have learned it is astronomically correct. We award this little gardenhenge 5 ½ druids!

And Peghenge? It is tempting to award it a higher score for its outer lintels and the correctly-formed inner horseshoe, but, since this Felder Rushing is a famous gardener, writer, radio personality (his show is called The Gestalt Gardener), and speaker who also has a cottage farm in Shropshire, should we not hold him to a higher standard? Score for the peghenge is also 5 ½ druids! We hope, sir, that this will spur you on to even greater Feats of Henging Glory.*

Meanwhile, our huge staff of researchers, as well as our roomful of idea people and writers, are working on another post from the Deep South. Mark Cline, of Virginia’s Foamhenge fame, has dazzled the henging world with a new creation, a fibreglass Stonehenge in Alabama, rumoured to be guarded by dragons and Chinese warriors! It is new,and information is hard to come by, but we have enough to add it to our list of large permanent replicas.

The other one is a set of Stonehenge-related sculptures on an island in the Serbian city of Belgrade. The research on this one has taken so many turns, involving politics, a formidable sculptor, a soul-stirring sculpture garden that was once behind the prince’s palace and is now destroyed forever, and the like, that we’re having trouble getting the article small enough for posting. But our huge staff is up to any task and will persevere! Meanwhile, this, too has been added to our list of large permanent replicas, bringing the grand number to 75. This is a world of wonders!

And so, dear friends and readers, when you start to despair for the world, think of all of the people out there who shrug off their troubles and in the face of certain disaster decide to build another Stonehenge! The impulse to have a laugh outdistances everything else about human nature. You have to love us. Ish.So, until next time—happy henging!

*Note: We have been prevailed upon by the great Simon Burrow, recent winner of the End-of-the-World Clonehenge Contest, and venerated Hengefinder, among the oldest friends of the blog, etc., to reconsider the Peghenge scoring. So Mr. Rushing’s fine creation is now awarded 6½ druids! Use them well, sir.

Announcing the Winners, 2012 End-of-the-World Clonehenge Contest!

Citrus henge, courtesy of champion henger, Simon Burrow

Citrus henge, courtesy of champion henger, Simon Burrow

Congratulations to long(est) time friend of the blog, henger and Hengefinder Simon Burrow, for receiving the Grand Prize in the Clonehenge 2012 End of the World Henge Fest and Contest! We had few entries, but all were excellent, and the decision was not easy. In the end it was this entry’s spirit, closely aligned with the Spirit of Clonehenge, that allowed it to break ahead of the pack. In his blog post describing CitrusHenge, Mr. Burrow writes,

On a very recently discovered and translated Mayan carving it said something like: ‘build a Stonehenge replica out of citrus and the 2012 apocalypse will be averted.’ So we did and it was. Saved that is.

We think it’s only fair that the henge that saved the world from apocalypse should win the contest! Of course, it has faults. The inner trilithon does not open toward a three-lintel stretch in the outer circle. And, let’s face it, grapefruits don’t work all that well as lintels. We suggest that if our champion continues to grow citrus fruit, he create some molds shaped like megaliths and have the fruit grow into them. Score: 6½ druids! (And that’s only so we can save face, having “picked” it as champion.)

One more note before we go on to the glorious runners up. In his blog post, Mr. Burrows mentions that someone beat him to the idea of a citrus henge (with this remarkable creation) and goes on to say:

But I am undeterred in my desire for henging glory. Next I’m going to make the extravagant claim that I have created a record number of Henge-like installations. I’m going for the Guinness Book of World Records.” We wish him well, and we suggest he keep an eye on the Henge Collective, his most obvious rivals for the record. (Do NOT click on that link and look at the top post as of January 15, 2013, by Tom McCarthy. N so very SFW!)

Next, the runners up, but first a philosophical story, because we are, you know, a blog with cosmic and spiritual concerns, innit? So a woman walks into a butcher shop, looks at the pork chops, the filet mignon, the beef heart, the tenderloin, the pork roast, and asks “Which piece of meat is the best?” And the butcher says, “Madam, every piece of meat in this shop is the best!” See? Deep.

Well, as it is with the meat in that shop, and, harder to see, the moments of our lives and people on the planet, so it is with henges! Every entry in the contest was in some way the best. (Yes, that’s where we were going with it! Lame-R-Us.)

The runners up are, a) Sammy Glastonbury’s lava lamp henge, which wins Most Beautiful and Creative; and b) Allan Sturm’s large and work-intensive End of the World Dance Party Henge, which wins the Would Win in Any Universe Where Clonehenge Was a Serious Blog Award.

One other henge is worth mentioning in connection with the contest. On Twitter we found a henge that, depending on the actual date of its creation, might have qualified for the contest, an impressive holiday gingerbread henge created by Sort-of kind-of celebrity Greg Jenner. We have seen many of this genre, but this was one of the best:

Gingerbread henge by Greg Jenner and friend

Gingerbread henge by Greg Jenner and friend

It is very well done. Take a look at the base it is set on. Did someone take pictures of a lawn and cut them up to use for this? The stone proportions are pretty good, the scattering of single and broke stones is nice, and the center trilithon horseshoe is shown, as is befitting a creation by the esteemed Historical Consultant to the CBBC’s Horrible Histories. Score: 7 druids, sir! Well done. You should have submitted…

Sammy Glastonbury's Lava Lamp Henge

Sammy Glastonbury’s Lava Lamp Henge

Allan Sturm's Dance Party Henge (see the Clonehenge Facebook group for construction photos)

Allan Sturm’s Dance Party Henge (see the Clonehenge Facebook group for construction photos)

So there it is, folks, the promised permanent page announcing the winners. We are impressed at the quality of entries* and want to thank the entrants for making the world more fun and for adding much-needed henges to our infrastructure. As the ancient prophets said, if people built more henges and argued less, peace would at last spread over the world, and all want and anguish would be abolished forever. Probably a very bad translation, but we’re going with it!

We have two new large permanent replicas to add, so we will be back doing regular posts very soon, maybe before the next winter solstice!!! Don’t forget to do the snowhenges and send us pictures. Happy henging!

*Okay, yes, we would have liked to see the Iron Man/My Little Pony mashup henge, but who knows what lies ahead?