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Pocket park's 20 sphinxes of mystery

BURLINGTON - Yikes!

A Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by Black Friday bargain hunters last month. Holiday shopping insanity is in full swing.

Want to escape the madding crowd and savor sculpture at the same time? If you're at the Shelburne Road Plaza and need a break, head for tiny Pomerleau Park in the plaza's northeast corner.

Sit beside a sphinx while you contemplate ancient Egyptian wonders and check another item off your holiday gift list.

Depicted as a lion with a human head, the sphinx has traditionally been viewed as a guardian, and the park's 20 sphinx sculptures will temporarily insulate you from the area's commercial craziness.

Winooski sculptor Leslie Fry and Charlotte architect Steven Schenker created the circular oasis in 1999. Concrete of varying textures was used for the sculptures, the columns, the sitting walls, the cobblestones, and the pavers.

Vines encircle the columns, and the vines, trees, and plantings change with the seasons. You can watch the seasonal changes while enjoying Eartha Kitts' "I'm a Funny Dame" in a two-minute video at YouTube.com.

Speaking of lists, you can also see a two-minute video showcasing Fry's wonderful two-part sculpture, "Lists and Dreams," at YouTube. The apartment sculpture is composed of to-do lists, lottery tickets, and written-down dreams. Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks perform "I'll See You In My Dreams" as video background.

Fry explains that "Life often seems to be about lists of things you have to do, and your dreams. In this sculpture they come together."

For more about Fry and her sculptures, go to LeslieFry.com.

Wait a minute. How many shopping days left? Is that sensational sale still going on? Where's my list? No time for dreamin'. I'm outta here.

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