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Nelson gets statue on 4/20 at 4:20 p.m.

April 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM   |   Comments

AUSTIN, Texas, April 22 (UPI) -- A group presented a statue to "Red Headed Stranger," Willie Nelson in Austin, Texas, on a counterculture holiday -- coincidentally, the group's president said.

Hundreds of spectators waited for the 8-foot bronze to be unveiled at the corner of Lavaca Street and Willie Nelson Boulevard.

Willie took the stage of the Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater while Kris Kristofferson, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, City Manager Marc Ott and members of the Austin City Council looked on in the front row.

Then Nelson, 78, asked for the time and at 4:20 pm. on Friday, April 20 -- ("420" being significantly tied to cannabis use) -- the non-profit Capital Area Statues Inc., presented its latest statue.

(The smoking of marijuana supposedly is more acceptable after 4:20 p.m., much like alcohol.)

"Who knew it would be on 4/20?" said Lawrence Wright, president of Capital Area Statues, insisting it was a "complete and utter coincidence."

Nelson is known to smoke marijuana and previously has been busted for marijuana possession.

The statue was created by artist Clete Shields who depicted the country legend leaning over his guitar, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported.

When asked if he was pleased with the work, Nelson said Shields did a "pretty darn good job."

Official ceremonies concluded, Nelson took to the guitar and sang "On the Road Again" and a new tune, "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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