People Staff
October 04, 1982 12:00 PM

Ultimately, not even Everest will stand the test of time, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the giant presidential figures atop South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore are showing their age. In the 41 years since sculptor Gutzon Borglum completed the massive work, the granite has eroded, trees and grass have sprouted from the back of George Washington’s head, and Teddy Roosevelt has suffered from what Bob Crisman (above, dangling from the Father of His Country’s ample nose) calls “pigeon stuff” in his eye. So every September Crisman, 33, and three other National Park Service maintenance men make the 485-foot climb to begin a five-day presidential facelift. Crisman does not approach the job with much glee. “I’ve heard it said,” he observes, “that a person who is not afraid of heights is a fool.”

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