To the editor:

From my perspective, Alexandria is presently in a history-bind, faced with an ongoing dilemma. I say this because the 28-foot-tall statue known as "Big Ole" - a stone's throw away from the Runestone Museum and the Kensington Runestone itself - are in stark historical contradiction to one another. In my view, this clash continuously causes a huge degree of confusion not only for Alexandria, but for the entire region and spreading out across Minnesota and America. It seems that local and visiting adults - and especially children - are being victimized by this absurdly un-historic public deception.

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Big Ole is a cartoon-like joke, while the KRS is authentic - which I believe will be borne out in time. Yet, even though the two are unquestionably incompatible, historically speaking, they continue to exist together in Alexandria, a city blessed with having in her possession evidence of authentic medieval Scandinavian history (the KRS), as corroborated by the existence of metal objects like some of those currently in the Runestone Museum, also by authentic Norse stoneholes like those at Runestone Park, and corroborated by a few petroglyphs in the region, such as the Norse Sailing Ship carving at Copper Harbor, Michigan, depicting a Norse invention in every respect - down to snakeheads adorning both ends.

Not only is the garish presence of Big Ole causing damage to both the KRS and the city, but I can't help wondering why there aren't any signs up on I-94 letting passersby know about the local treasure. I am truly saddened by the foolish decision of having Big Ole and the KRS existing side-by-side, since a quarter of a millennium separates the pair. If Alex is the "Birthplace of America," it is because of the 1362 KRS, not because of the buffoon-like Viking called Big Ole, representing the Viking Age ending around AD 1100.

Robert Voyles

Minnetonka, MN