Looks pretty ferocious, doesn’t he? And he should…all 6 legs are holding devices and tools of weaponry and carpentry: an adjustable wrench, a shop hammer, a claw hammer. He’s a Seabee and he represents the crack Naval personnel, men and women who performed construction tasks all around the world. Note the 4th. item he holds–a machine gun front and center (these folks were soldiers, first). He’s the iconic figure sporting a sailor cap aside a chapel at the former Quonset Naval Station which has been underserved for many years, much to the consternation of many Rhode Islanders.
Years ago, as a child, I’d see Mr. Bumblebee aside Rt. 1A, when my family headed into Quonset Naval Base (my father was a Navy officer.) “Seabee” belongs to the Rhode Island folklore landscape every bit as much as Providence’s famous Big Blue Bug, alongside Rt. 95….maybe more.
Below is that other bug we Rhode Islanders venerate: the Big Blue Bug, image of New England Pest Control. Depending upon the season, he’s dressed in lights and a red bulb nose (for Christmas), enjoying a Del’s lemonade in summer, or wearing Patriots’ cap…
And here’s a site to tell you more about this co-ed group, the Seabees, who serve ’round the world but one whose base was originally Davisville, Rhode Island: http://www.seabeesmuseum.com/