Bob the Turkey, as the bird was known, often frequented the downtown Woodstock area and the nearby Serenade subdivision before he was killed in a hit-and-run accident in January.
Before his death, Bob was always seen roaming the area. Residents said he liked shiny things and he hated police cars.
All of these attributes made Bob, identified by some as Tom, well-known to residents, visitors and especially law enforcement.
Since his death, residents have put up signs at his burial site in front of the subdivision and maintained his Facebook page, which has almost 2,000 fans.
But one resident wanted to do more to make sure Woodstock remembered Bob.
Diane Geeslin, a local artist and five-year Woodstock resident, said she began her mission soon after Bob passed away by opening a bank account to solicit donations for the project.
“Everybody knew Bob,” Geeslin said. “I decided I just could not let this pass.”
Geeslin contacted city officials and eventually was given approval for a statue by the Woodstock City Council in May. The statue was designed by another local artist, Bruce Weinzetl of Acworth, whom Geeslin met months earlier at the Woodstock Farmers Market.
The “junkman artist,” as Weinzetl calls himself, said he has spent the past seven years creating works on display throughout metro Atlanta and in several surrounding cities, but he has never been asked to do a turkey before.
“There’s not a lot to it, really,” Weinzetl said.
The 60-pound, 30 inch-tall bird is made from recycled metal donated from Holly Springs, Woodstock and Marietta businesses, including 700 feathers made out of 18-gauge steel and a body made of a refrigerant tank.
“Everyone gave me what I needed and never charged me a dime,” Weinzetl said.
Weinzetl said he typically gets emotionally involved in his work, but this project was especially close to his heart because he knew the turkey.
“When his eyes went into the sculpture last week and I looked at him, I actually dropped a tear,” Weinzetl said.
After the sculpture was completed, Geeslin said its location still needed to be determined.
“I wasn’t going to have it anywhere else but downtown,” Geeslin said.
After touring downtown with City Manager Jeff Moon, the two determined to put the statue near the entrance to the downtown area from Highway 92. The bird is mounted on stone and secured to a grassy island surrounded by flowers for all downtown patrons to see.
Geeslin said she was appreciative of all the city of Woodstock officials who helped her cause.
“I think some other communities might have turned my idea down, but the city really took the leap to go forward with this,” she said.
Geeslin said she hopes to donate additional monies from the account to the Cherokee County Humane Society and local animal shelters.
Those wanting to donate to the cause can visit or call any Wells Fargo branch and mention that it’s for Bob the Turkey, account No. 7530686331.
Geeslin said a plaque—made of a recycled hubcap—will be installed sometime within the next week beneath the statue that reads: “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”