By CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
Last Wednesday morning, we awoke with a taste for a Peppermill Grill omelette. So, off we headed to the popular downtown Rockford eatery.
Entering the Northland Dr. business district from the north we witnessed an unbelievable sight. There appeared to be an oil derrick gushing black crude oil in front of Rockford Quick Lube, 360 Northland Dr., at the intersection of E. Main and Northland Dr. Pulling off the road, we noticed a large man gazing up at the gusher while repeating gushing over and over again, “I love it, I love it, I love it…”
Seriously though, the evening prior we learned that local sculptor Steve Anderson, of Andersons Metal Sculpture, had been commissioned by Rockford Quick Lube owner, Roger Haveman, to create a one of a kind work of art. Completed, delivery was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
With the oil derrick protruding from the rear of his large delivery van, Anderson had just arrived on scene and with the help of the Quick Lube crew unloaded “Gusher” and quickly erected and attached it permanently to a previously poured concrete foundation. Yes, Haveman truly did gush over and over again, “I love it, I love it, I love it…”
Over the years, Haveman had much admired many of the Andersons’ sculptures already on display in the Rockford community and had been working with Anderson toward this very day for the past couple of years. “I’m in the oil business and my wife Elaine and I love sculptures so an oil derrick sculpture was a perfect fit for my business site.” said Haveman.
Haveman told us that the timing for the installation was intentional. Rockford Quick Lube is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary on December 1st and Haveman decided to have “Gusher” installed as a surprise thank-you to his many, many loyal customers for all of their past support.
“Gusher” stands some 19-feet tall. The derrick is constructed of heavy gauge angle iron and the undulating and flowing oil gusher is sculpted of steel sheet metal.
“Gusher” was finished to withstand the elements with the derrick first being primed, then receiving a heavy coat of Rhyno-Liner (a protective coating spray-on truck bed liner) and then topped off with a finish coat of industrial quality gray paint. The steel sheet metal gushing oil was also prime-coated then finished off with a gloss black epoxy finish.
“I also wanted this sculpture to be a cornerstone, a signature piece if you will, at the northern gateway to the Northland Dr. Business District,” said Haveman. Towards that end, we think he succeeded greatly!
Squire Readers will recall that other Andersons Metal Sculptures, such as “Waterdance” on the face of the Rockford Dam and the “Fighting Ram” in the front of the North Rockford Middle School, are but two permanently on display in the greater Rockford community. (For information and locations of other Andersons Sculptures go to: www.andersonsmetalsculpture.com.
As we prepared to leave Rockford Quick Lube that morning, Roger Haveman’s good friend Tm Fegel said it all, “This is every oil man’s dream – bringing in The Gusher!”