In case anyone thought that me moving to the South meant dressing normally.
“It took the Druids 1500 years to build Stonehenge. I can do it in ten days.”[…]
It is, Mark points out, the only American Stonehenge that really is an exact replica of the time-worn original. “I went to great pains to shape each ‘stone’ to its original shape,” he tells us, fact-checking his designs and measurements with the man who gives tours of Stonehenge in England. Mark has even consulted a local “psychic detective” named Tom who has advised him on how to position Foamhenge so that it is astronomically correct. As if on cue, Tom pulls into the parking lot and huffs his way up the steep, windswept hillside to talk business with Mark. Tom wears an oversized t-shirt whose front is filled with a giant head of a space alien.
Mark, always the entertainer, climbs atop what he calls the “altar stone” and tells us of his plans to celebrate the summer solstice. “One of the guys suggested that we sacrifice a virgin, but we couldn’t find any around here,” he wisecracks. Then he launches into an improvised Mick Jagger dance and tells us that he met his current wife when he performed this same routine in a local bar. “She was the only woman who didn’t try to grab my ass.”
Mark says that he can create four or five Foamhenge megaliths in a day, properly shaped and painted. The reason, of course, is that foam is much more easily worked than rock. That is also its Achilles heel. Foamhenge is, after all, really Styrofoamhenge. A sign at the base of the hill cautions: “Please be gentle. It is foam, not stone,” yet how long, honestly, can a monument survive that is made of the same stuff as packing peanuts?
Mark explains that each block is set into a hole in the ground and anchored with cement. “I put a 2.5 inch pipe all the way through each one down into the ground, like a nail holding it to the concrete,” the same technique, on a larger scale, that a dentist uses to anchor a false tooth into a jaw. And, Mark adds hopefully, “It’s non-biodegradable so it might last longer than the original.”
Still, the rural setting of Foamhenge and the busted beer bottles at the site hint that this particular spot is attractive to more than Druids and tourists. What happens when some good ol’ boy decides to take a hunting knife to Foamhenge, or some Christian zealot attacks it with a chainsaw? Mark is optimistic. “At some point we’ll cover it with stucco,” he says. “Until then I’m only five minutes down the road with a paintbrush and sandpaper. I’m here to babysit it.”