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Big Mary never got rolling

• May 7, 2015 at 1:00 AM

How do you change an elephant’s tire? With the spare in his trunk!

But any hopes Wednesday of moving Big Mary, an elephant sculpture created last year by Dennis McNett and professors and students of East Tennessee State University's art department, to her new home on campus between Governors and Centennial halls were quickly deflated when the rubber met the road.

The sculpture was used last year in a ceremony to honor the circus elephant hanged in the Town of Erwin in 1916, and was supposed to be relocated from the Art Annex, but three flat tires under the base of the sculpture made the artists and volunteers forget their plans for the day.

The first two tires were dry rotted, likely from sitting in the partially covered area behind the annex since the ceremony in September, and while inflating one of the replacements, McNett blew out the inner tube. Then the rains came.

Mary will still be moved once the tires are repaired and the relocation plan is a little more airtight.

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