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Albany employee gives turtle new shell

By | | August 6, 2003

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The Albany-Dougherty Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee recently sent an odd looking creature to the Albany maintenance Center with a request for the creature to be painted.

The 6-foot, fiberglass turtle and a group of similar shelled amphibians are part of a community project called "Turtle Stew," which promotes an effort to build a park in the city's old downtown area on the bank of the Flint River.

The fundraising project is the Trail of Turtles, which features the 6-foot standing turtle for the purchase price of $3,000 and a hatchling for $1,500. The money will be used to buy supplies and other materials for the playground.

The project is headed up by the Junior League of Albany, which is an internationally recognized organization of women volunteers. The Junior League of Albany has a 40-year track record of successfully supporting community projects ranging from historical renovation to fundraising for numerous charitable causes.

Don Holloway, painter at the MCLB Albany Maintenance Center, gave the turtle its military paint job. During his time working at the base this was the first time he ever painted a turtle.

Holloway started painting by applying primer to the all tan "naked" turtle followed by a coat of green paint. He then went back over the shell with brown and black to give it a military camouflage look.

Bo Harris, manager of a local Sherwin-Williams Company store, donated the six gallons of paint required.

"I never painted a turtle before," Holloway said. "It wasn't that simple trying to transfer the pattern from my mind to the turtle."

Once the hard-shelled Marine was covered in his new war paint there was still one thing he was missing -- a name. Phil May, electrician at the Maintenance Center, named the newly created Marine, MA2T, Marine Amphibious Assault Turtle.

To add to the turtle's mean and green look, Holloway painted the creatures name on his chest to resemble a name tag. "U.S. Marines" was also painted on the left side of his chest with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor below it.

Holloway used stencils that were made and donated by his brother, Huey Holloway, who works for Art Sign Company Inc. in Albany. The detailed stencil of the Marine's coveted emblem made the painter's job easier than if he had done it by freehand.

MA2T will be displayed at the Albany Mall in September along with many other painted turtles. Those who view the "Trail of Turtles" at the mall will be able to vote for their favorite one.

For more information about Turtle Stew, log onto www.turtle stew.net.

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