Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

giant gladiator still stands strong 30 years after it was built


April 19, 2017

Samantha Briggs

Duane Swanson, former automotive/welding teacher at Widefield high School stands between the knees of the mighty Gladiator in front of the school.

Charlie, the 15-foot gladiator outside of Widefield High School, is turning 30 years old. The statue, made entirely out of chrome car bumpers, still stands strong today and celebrated its milestone with a special reunion.

Some of the students and staff who helped bring Charlie alive gathered in front of WHS to reminisce on a vision that became a reality through the welding classes of industrial arts teacher Duane Swanson.

"I didn't want to do the project. I was not an artist and didn't know anything about art. Patt Dikeman talked me into it," said Swanson.

Dikeman was the art teac...

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