Flight of the Camels

liisasilander | Fri May 10, 2019

by Literary Arts + Studies Professor Mike Fink

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I saw this recently on the brick wall overlooking Gil Franklin’s Daybreak sculpture and the wee Beach where students gather on a nice day to sketch and chat: a couple of pigeons perching on a Camel cigarette logo with a flock of doves migrating underneath. 

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By the time I had gone to fetch my old-time camera, it had vanished. But eventually I found out that first-year student Connor Kay 22 PT created this salute to the Middle Eastern dromedary as part of an assignment to make use of a commercial sign. 

It’s also a nod in the direction of the RISD Pigeon Club (there’s a dovecote on the terrace around the corner and I served as the group’s original faculty advisor).  

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My late dad was profoundly dedicated to the cult of Camel cigarettes, and when my office was across the street in Carr Haus I used to display such logos as the newborn chick for Bon Ami and the original Old Dutch cleanser with its stylized silhouette (in the good old days before you had to replace anything “old” with the word “new”). 

I even placed my pop’s white-wall tire in my balcony window.

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So kudos to Connor, with hopes that he chooses one of my classes come September.