Virginia Tech campus police were on high alert this week as the well-known bronze statue of the school’s first student, Addison Caldwell, tried once again to walk home to Sinking Creek in Giles County.
The crook-armed cadet was stopped on North Main Street outside the YMCA Thrift Shop by an excited store customer who tried to purchase him for ten bucks, but an alert patrol officer recognized the statue and intervened. Addison was then returned to his pedestrian pedestal in the upper quad.
The story of the first student to enroll for classes at what was then Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (V.A.M.C.), is famous for the 28-mile walk Caldwell made to campus on October 1st, 1872.
This is the third time the sneaky bronze Caldwell has attempted to skip school this year.
“I suppose you can’t blame him,” said alert patrol officer Vince Jenkins. “After all, he did graduate -- what, over a hundred years ago, right? I’d want to go home too. And he is stuck in that walking position. I mean, yeah, I’d want to keep going somewhere. Especially since it's spring break."
A least reliable source also found a very moldy 1874 Bugle, VMAC's first yearbook, in Newman Library, and Addison can be found on page 12 in a humorous candid shot walking across a muddy field in just his long john's and a woman's bonnet. Barely legible under the grainy picture is the caption: "Cadet Addison 'Mad Addy,' Caldwell. Voted 'Most Likely To Skip Milking Cows.'"
As usual, Virginia Tech Media Relations had no comment about “your silly stories, Mr. Wills.”
*The Long Way Home: Local poor boy, Addison Caldwell, below, taking a circuitous route home. Police believe the wily statue had hoped to elude capture by walking through town, rather than treading the more direct historical route.