Bill Gaines in the Statue of Liberty's arm
Annie Gaines took this photo of Bill Gaines stuck inside the arm of the Statue of Liberty. Only DeBartolo and Annie Gaines made it all the way to the torch balcony. However, being atop the torch platform, rocking gently in the wind, was so terrifying that they stayed less than a minute.
In his book Good Days and Mad,
DeBartolo described how all three traveled one night to Liberty Island in DeBartolo's boat and then made the climb. This photo is part of a Life.com slide show on Mad
which you can see here
. Since the arm was closed to tourists, how did DeBartolo pull this off? He explains how he made the connection here
editor John Ficarra recalled: "This is Bill stuck in the Statue of Liberty. He was a huge Statue of Liberty fan. In fact, he owned the world's premiere collection of Statue of Liberty paraphernalia. He owned the original molds by Bartholdi. Dick DeBartolo talked to the guy who was the night watchmen at the statue and arranged for a group to have a private night tour. Bill had some trouble on those narrow stairs. The weird thing? I think that jacket he's wearing in the picture is the jacket he wore the day he died. He was not noted for his haberdashery."
Between 1876 and 1882, the Statue of Liberty arm was in Madison Square Park for fund-raising to complete the Statue. Anyone could pay 50 cents to climb to the torch balcony.
Labels: bill gaines, debartolo, mad