The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Mr. Tuskface finds new home


Dot Bardarson

Dot Bardarson climbs aboard Mr. Tuskface, who Rolf Bardarson (right) hauled up Fourth, as he arrives at his new at Woody’s Thai Kitchen.

Long time residents of Seward remember “Mr. Tuskface,” the elephant at Bardarson Studio. He presided over the art there for 16 years and became the favored steed of children visiting the art gallery.

When the building was sold in 2005, the elephant remained on loan to the new owners and Dot has kept Mr Tuskface, clean and oiled since then.

In 1989, Linne and Dot Bardarson discovered him in Chang Mai, Thailand where he was being carved out of one tree, a Monkeypod. They had to have him.

It took a week to arrange the purchase and shipping. The elephant had to go by truck to Bangkok, by the inaugural Sealand barge to Seattle, then to Anchorage, and by truck to Seward. It took weeks.

The elephant was a favorite among local children who repeatedly requested to mount him while parents took photos. Anchorage children and tourists would put the elephant on their list of things to do while in Seward.

In June it was time for Mr. Tuskface to find a new home. Getting him out of Summer Breeze was no small feat for Rolf and Leif Bardarson. The elephant weighs about 1,000 pounds. But they were able to squiggle him onto the new fork lift for an amazing trip down Fourth Avenue from the harbor.

Imagine the astonished faces of drivers and people on sidewalks as Resurrection Rentals slowly made its way toward the new home for Mr. Tuskface.

What would be more appropriate than Woody’s Thai Kitchen where a table of guests were just finishing their delicious lunch. The elephant completely blocked the door as he made his grand entrance.

Woody’s owner, Justin Biocic, says, “Mr. Tuskface is a big hit. All the kids love him. And we think he has brought us pretty good luck.”


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