Knoxville — Knoxville has booked a Freedom Rock to be painted by Ray "Bubba" Sorensen of Greenfield. The rock is on Sorensen's "to do" list in 2014.
Sorensen has become famous in Iowa for painting patriotic images on landmark rocks. The first was painted in 1999, in honor of his uncle, Ted. Ted served with the Navy Seabees during the Vietnam War and was treated poorly when he came home. That bothered Sorensen, and he was inspired to do something to show support to all veterans. This rock is repainted every May, in honor of Memorial Day.
In the years since, Sorensen has set a goal to paint a Freedom Rock in all 99 of Iowa's counties. He has rocks in three counties and 15 others have booked him. Sorensen will paint 10 this year and 15 next.
"They're all different and different sizes," Sorensen said.
Sorensen has his own art studio now. He credits teachers he had through school for recognizing his artistic talent and encouraging him to pursue art. At the time he painted the first rock, he was an art major at Iowa State University.
A man who considers every county in Iowa his home, Sorensen has visited Knoxville and is aware of the town's history of caring for veterans.
"I think it's an awesome little town," Sorensen said of Knoxville.
Knoxville Mayor Don Zoutte informed the Journal-Express of the Freedom Rock earlier this week. We intend to follow up with him for more information for a complete article in the April 12 Journal-Express.
Knoxville will be charged for the Freedom Rock.