The mural as of Saturday evening.
  • Photo by Sacha Noelle Peet
  • The mural as of Saturday evening.

It was up for so many months that No Touching Ground's touching John T. Williams memorial mural on 11th Street between Pike and Pine seemed like it would stay forever—even while we all knew it couldn't.

But that time came sooner than expected. On Friday night, according to the Poster Giant employee who works that block, Keith (he asked not to provide his full name), a mohawked man began tearing it down. Keith "asked him not to touch it, but the guy wouldn't listen and Keith's been harassed a lot lately so he didn't want to get into a confrontation," Poster Giant spokeswoman Barbara Mitchell said in an email.

The email also contained photographs that demonstrated that Keith had repaired the mural in April. He wrote in the email with the pictures, dated April 30, "The other day someone asked if I'd fix it while putting up 11th and Pine, they said it would mean a lot to a lot of people, so I did. A way of giving back too [sic] the community. My good deed for the year."

Artist Emily Pothast wrote a response to this weekend's defacement—although the tearing conspicuously spares the face of John T. Williams—on Facebook.

"It's still beautiful, and to me it will continue to be beautiful even when it is just a memory of what used to be in this spot for some lovely fleeting moments before succumbing to the tides, as we all must grow comfortable with doing eventually..."

She added: "someone should take a picture of this spot from the same place every day and make a stop motion animation of the process of its eventual destruction."

That is a really good idea. Is anybody up for an easy, awesome, civic project? Couldn't we also crowd-source it and make it an interactive Bing map thing?