Northern Michigan's landscape marked by man's handiwork

Apr 28, 2008 Full story: WOOD-TV Grand Rapids 30

“I think that we have an advantage where we can ship large components”

Tom Moran knows that he just can't please everybody. That fact is magnified when it comes to the massive pieces of art he makes each year for the Onaway Fourth of July parade. via WOOD-TV Grand Rapids

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Resident

Southfield, MI

#21 Nov 10, 2008
Former Resident wrote:
Not that I am a huge fan of Tom Moran or anything, but he has been making these things for almost 20 years...give him a break on originality ok? In the past he has made a giant frog that sticks its tongue out, a rifle that actually fires, an HUGE fish tank with sturgeon in it, a giant ax, a large butterfly that flaps its wings and lots more. If not for him, no one would go to Onaway for the 4th of July parade since it is nothing but logging trucks and race cars now!
I would disagree that no one would come to the 4th of July parade, why did people go years ago before Tom did the statues? It's a family day. If you pay attention it's a pleasure to see the little kids that enjoy the parade, they like the fire and logging trucks, they enjoy the tractors, horses, and race cars. The parade is not a sucess due to any one person, but the work from many people.
Former Resident

Saline, MI

#22 Nov 11, 2008
I agree that many people put the fourth together, I LOVE Onaway..please don't think I am putting it down. Since I no longer live there, I donate money every year for the fireworks, it is the only way I can help. Its just that, this year was the first year in a while it seemed that the fourth had turned around. There was a larger craft fair and a few things for the kids to do. But in the recent previous years, the craft fair has become smaller and smaller and they took away the attractions for the kids that used to be at Maxon Field. It makes me sad that right after the water fight it seems like the town shuts down and the fourth never happened. Its not like it used to be, you could spend an entire day in town looking at stuff and playing games. People want to walk around and enjoy town for the day, not cram everything into 1 hour and then wait for the fireworks. Keeping people in town would also allow local businesses to make money too!
mommabee

Southfield, MI

#23 Nov 20, 2008
I personally love and enjoy seeing his "artwork", or whatever anyone else wants to call it and its the one and only thing that onaway can actually be proud of . expecially with a good for nothing school, a grocery store that honestly sucks! A town full of druggies and child abusers, A currupt city government, A furniture store with jacked up prices and "sales" every week . and so many things i dont feel like listing. people should complain about more important issues like taxes or drugs or heck go out on a limb and create your own art if you think you can! I know I cant thats for sure (HIGHLY NON ARTISTIC INDIVIDUAL HERE!) Onaway has alot of problems that need to be worked out and should of years ago I cant wait to get out of here!!! And I hope for all the others who cant that onaway changes for there sake and for there childrens.
Resident

Southfield, MI

#24 Nov 21, 2008
So what is keeping you here? There are roads that go North, South, East and West. If you are that unhappy about everything you should leave, sounds like you don't like anything or anybody.By the way,one druggie or child abuser in any town is one to many.

Since: Nov 08

Southfield, MI

#25 Nov 22, 2008
Resident wrote:
So what is keeping you here? There are roads that go North, South, East and West. If you are that unhappy about everything you should leave, sounds like you don't like anything or anybody.By the way,one druggie or child abuser in any town is one to many.


nothing is keeping us here we are leaving but we have family and friends here i am just a concerned person there is alot of good here but also alot of bad that people need to take care of there is alot of bad everywhere and the only way to fix it is for people to relise the fact that its not going to change on its own. People need to stop worring about the good and focus on the bad is all.
I like head

Pullman, MI

#26 Dec 4, 2008
This Tom Moran fellow is really something. He does a lot for the community. I was downstate last month and someone asked me about my Onaway Drinking Club hat.
"Isnt that the place where the Moran Iron Works Vulcans are from"? I didnt know... But this guy said the Vulcans kicked the asses of some the best travel softball teams around! Way to go Tom!
vulcan

Southfield, MI

#27 Dec 4, 2008
I like head wrote:
This Tom Moran fellow is really something. He does a lot for the community. I was downstate last month and someone asked me about my Onaway Drinking Club hat.
"Isnt that the place where the Moran Iron Works Vulcans are from"? I didnt know... But this guy said the Vulcans kicked the asses of some the best travel softball teams around! Way to go Tom!
The only thing Tom did for the team was write a check so his name would be on the jerseys. He didn't play an active part in anything. He didn't coach, he didn't go to any games, I don't even think he even knows who the players are!
Softballl fan

Pullman, MI

#28 Dec 5, 2008
I know Tom and he did go to TC to watch the Vulcans destroy every team in the tourney and bring home yet another first place trophy for not just Tom Moran but all of NE Michigan! Gee whiz, you are a negative fellow! Or, do you just have it in for Tom? Who cares if his name is on the jersey! It is still money he did not have to spend! Did you ever do anything with your time or money for the kids of Onaway?
Vulcan Player

United States

#29 Jan 23, 2009
vulcan wrote:
<quoted text>
The only thing Tom did for the team was write a check so his name would be on the jerseys. He didn't play an active part in anything. He didn't coach, he didn't go to any games, I don't even think he even knows who the players are!
Believe it or not Tom Moran really cares about our team.....and it has been such a privilage to have him as a sponsor. He did come to our TC game and he had a blast just like us players as if he were one. And of course he knows who we are how couldnt he. lol. I think that before people start talking crap about him they need to actually know what is going on and get their facts sraight. That really irritates us players when people do that.
PassingThrough

United States

#30 Feb 15, 2009
As someone who just happened to pass through Onaway yesterday I was so taken with the two pieces of "giant head" art that I was trying to look up more information on who made them. That, of course, brought me to this thread.

Anyone who thinks it's not art is just not educated PERIOD. Yes, they are pieces done off original work, but they are HARDLY exact replicas and they make the town of Onaway an interesting piece of Americana instead of just a place to go and buy furniture and RV's.

I don't know Tom or the Moran's, but I know this: As a newspaper photographer I was really taken with the originality of having the large pieces pepper the landscape. Maybe you need to step away from your tunnel vision and really look at what it adds to the area - without predetermined views on this artist.

Not art? really? I get the feeling that those who think this must like Thomas Kincaid.. and THAT is pedestrian "art" at its best.

Be glad your town has something interesting to make a passerby stop and smile.

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