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March 7, 2013

Step Back in Time: March 7, 2013


It came to Oneonta as the possession of Assistant Fire Chief Donald Rarick, the man who, as a member of the 464th Anti-aircraft Battalion attached to the 10th Air Force, rescued the alabaster statute from a field.

Once part of a larger Buddhist shrine at Bhamo in Burma, the statuette was one of a multitude of such two-foot high, 75-pound figures which adored the base of a larger statue.

Accidentally blasted apart in a skirmish between Allied and Japanese troops or aircraft, the statuette was found by Mr. Rarick.

In short order the statuette turned up at the Pennsylvania home where Mrs. Rarick was then living. It finally arrived in Oneonta in 1945.

Buddhist students in Oneonta said the figurine is made of white alabaster and is approximately 2,500 years old.

And that is the history, as the Oneontans know it, of the statute of “The Great God Budd” which now occupies a locked cabinet in the basement of City Hall.

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