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A rooster and a duck sit down to a board game

Charles Tetu of Groveton and his wondrous sculpture made of recycled materials sits by his house on Route 110. Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
August 25, 2010
GROVETON — What sounds like the beginning of a joke is actually the larger then life sculpture created by Charles Tetu of Groveton that has become the talk of the town.

"People just drive in to see it, they hear about it and keep driving in and I don't mind," said Mr. Tetu in a recent interview — the course of which was redirected to accommodate Cathy Collins who drove in during the interview to peek at the sculpture.

"Oh we've heard about it and wanted to come out and look at it, everybody in town is talking about it," said Mrs. Collins who then prompted, "Whatever possessed you to build that?"

Why would a man would create a six foot high duck holding a beer across from a Rooster planning his next move? Mr. Tetu plainly stated, "I worked at the Groveton Paper Board for 43 and a half years and when I got out I always wanted to do something different, and one of those things was to make a sculpture."

The idea of what to build came after a fun filled evening of square-dancing. Mr. Tetu and his friends had gone back to his place afterwards, and one of them presented him with a gift of a little figurine with the two fowl playing a board game using ladybugs and snails as pieces.

"I looked at it and thought, 'I'd like to make that thing'," said Mr. Tetu. The figurine currently sits on the table of its bigger brother showing from what size the concept grew.

Mr. Tetu started his project in the first week of August 2009 and had it all done and painted by July 6, 2010. In the course of almost a year he would take one day week and scrounge local junk yards for the perfect components; the backseat of an office chair for the duck's bill, rubbish cans for the sitting stumps, an exhaust pipe from a diesel truck for the duck's leg, maple sugar can covers for the table, a motorcycle fender for the rooster's crown and much more. The duck's boots are actually an old pair of Mr. Tetu's that he reinforced and attached.

"It's pretty near 100 percent recycled," he said proudly. What he used most of all, however, were old television satellite dish receivers. "I bet I used 30 to 50 of them for parts like the wings and the back of the duck."

The amateur blacksmith bent and twisted all of the metal and steel he used in a forge he built in his backyard. He performed all the welding and shaping sometimes making up methods as he went long such as using Bondo and kitchen measuring spoons to make the eyes.

"All the imagination you can ever imagine is in that," he said. "I'd go to bed at night and it was all I could think of."

Mr. Tetu has made smaller objects from steel before such as tricycles for his grandchildren. Two of which, Quin and Loretta Morrissette, had a hand in the creation's final paint job. Credited with giving the base and undercoat with a spray gun was Dana Gonyer.

The road side attraction on Route 110 heading to Stark has gotten so much attention that Mr. Tetu was asked to put it on display at the Lancaster Fair. Already he is putting together an adjustable fence and a roof to protect it while on exhibit. He also noted that he would be willing to part with the statue if anyone wants to buy it.

In the mean time, Mr. Tetu will be fiddling with a large frog flower pot made out of recycled television dishes and an old kettle currently sitting mid-stage in his workshop.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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