STANDING BRAVE

is on display at the Woodshed of Big Cabin

standing brave statue

A little about the artist

Wade Leslie was born in Ojai, California, then relocated to Oklahoma in 1993.  He came to work for Franks & Son, Inc., in April 1995.  Put to work in the body shop, DeWayne quickly realized that Wade was indeed talented and the best body man in Northeast Oklahoma, an asset for Franks & Son. Still with the Franks Companies, Wade currently works for the Big Cabin Service Center. Wade is also a tattoo artist and resides with his family in Big Cabin. 

structure of standing brave

carving of standing brave

working on standing brave

headdress of standing brave

the moving of standing brave

the unvailing of standing brave

big cabin service center, northeast oklahoma

STANDING BRAVE


Designed and built by Wade Leslie

The birth of Standing Brave’s idea came about after a trip to Maine and an unsuccessful bid to buy a 26 ft Indian statue to bring back to Big Cabin. DeWayne Franks wanted this Indian as an attraction to his businesses that are located in the midst of the Cherokee Nation. After recruiting an employee from the Franks & Son body shop, a plan was formulated and his idea became a reality.


Starting October 2, 2000, Wade Leslie, the then 26-year-old body man, worked tirelessly on Standing Brave. First fabricating a scale model that is now greeting customers as they walk into the Big Cabin Service Center, Wade then moved onto the big statue utilizing some 1800 ft of steel pipe and rebar for the framework. The framework was covered with wire mesh and expanding insulation foam to form the body. Wade meticulously carved the features of the face, hands and body into the foam that was then fiber-glassed, sanded, primed and painted. The Oklahoma state flag was cleverly integrated into the shield design. After 801 hours of Wade’s talented labor Standing Brave was completed March 22, 2001.


Moving Standing Brave to his home turned out to be quite a feat. In order for the statue to be completely freestanding, a 15 ft underground footing was laid with 100 yards of steel reinforced concrete, upon which the pedestal was placed. Standing Brave’s spear and headdress had been built into the framework for added structural support. A wrecker on his feet and forklift on his head, Standing Brave was pulled and pushed out of the body shop, then driven across the property to his home, finally being hoisted upright by crane. The beautiful statue and engineering marvel was moved and placed upright on August 9, 2001.


Standing Brave now has new ownership and stands proudly, greeting travelers at the Woodshed of Big Cabin entrance when they exit the Will Rogers Turnpike.

 


 

Standing Brave Fun Facts

 
  • Statue height – 46 ft
  • Pedestal height – 5 ft
  • Overall height – 51 ft
  • Weight – 15,500 lbs
  • Steel pipe and rebar used – 1812 ft
  • Fiberglass used – 600 lbs
  • Fiberglass resin used – 150 gallons
  • Standing Brave was built entirely while laying on his side.
  • Standing Brave's spear and headdress were built into the steel framework as added support.
  • Standing Brave is entirely freestanding without use of guide wires.
  • Wade logged 801 labor hours, and had many assistants helping logging nearly as many.
  • Sanding Standing Brave took 80 hours.
  • There are 105 feathers in Standing Brave's headdress of which the largest is 5 ft long.
  • There are also 37 feathers on Standing Brave's spear.
  • The Oklahoma state flag was integrated into Standing Brave's shield.
  • Standing Brave received his name from Kathrena Franks.
 
   

STANDING BRAVE Slide Show


 
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Slideshow speed: 5 seconds
 
Move
Beginning Framework
  • Beginning Framework
    Beginning Framework
  • Framework Finished
    Framework Finished
  • Adding Wire Mesh
    Adding Wire Mesh
  • Wire Mesh Complete
    Wire Mesh Complete
  • Spear & Wire Mesh Hand
    Spear & Wire Mesh Hand
  • Expanding foam ready to carve
    Expanding foam ready to carve
  • Applying expanding foam
    Applying expanding foam
  • Expanding foam ready to carve
    Expanding foam ready to carve
  • Carving Standing Braves Face
    Carving Standing Braves Face
  • More carving
    More carving
  • Inspecting his work
    Inspecting his work
  • Inspecting his work
    Inspecting his work
  • Fiberglass resin applied and adding feathers
    Fiberglass resin applied and adding feathers
  • Fiberglassed, sanded and primed
    Fiberglassed, sanded and primed
  • Headdress ready to paint
    Headdress ready to paint
  • Pulling out of shop
    Pulling out of shop
  • Wrecker pulling across property
    Wrecker pulling across property
  • Taking across property
    Taking across property
  • Forklift pushing across property
    Forklift pushing across property
  • Underground footing
    Underground footing
  • Steel reinforcements for concrete in footing
    Steel reinforcements for concrete in footing
  • Getting ready to pour concrete
    Getting ready to pour concrete
  • Hoisted Upright
    Hoisted Upright
  • Placed on pedestal
    Placed on pedestal
  • Unwrapping
    Unwrapping
  • Unwrapping front view
    Unwrapping front view
  • Unfurling tarps
    Unfurling tarps
  • Unveiled
    Unveiled
  • The finished product
    The finished product
  • Standing Brave
    Standing Brave
  • Standing Brave front view
    Standing Brave front view
  • Standing Brave Head & Shoulders
    Standing Brave Head & Shoulders
  • Standing Brave Face
    Standing Brave Face

Beginning Framework