By Daniel Ritz
Just north of the iconic Richard Henry Dana statue, another statue has been catching the eyes of Dana Point residents as they arrive on the Island in the Dana Point Harbor.
Quite a few statues, in fact.
Over the past five days, Tom Clifford has constructed more than 150 rock art statues along the western banks of the Harbor.
“I really just want to add value to this beautiful place,” Clifford answered when asked why he started the project. “It’s fun, and they’re all different.”
Clifford, originally from Maine, is homeless in Dana Point. He walked us along the statues, pointing out some of his favorites. With startling accuracy, Clifford identifies eagles, horses and more in the cracks and crevices of the rocks.
“Everyone’s been so supportive,” he said,” with the exclusion of one woman he reported repeatedly harassing and taking pictures of him.”
“I want to add value to this place,” he said. “Maybe someone will see what I’m doing and appreciate it. Maybe I could do some work for them? I’m just trying to make it work and contribute what I can.”
Irv and Marcia Warick were sitting on the grasses east of the field of statues. They said they enjoyed watching Clifford work. They were surprised to learn he was homeless.
“It’s wonderful,” Irv Warick said. “I think he’s doing something beneficial and should be recognized for his work.”
Update: On the weekend of August 25-26, Timothy Clifford was arrested by Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputies in the Dana Point Harbor. According to OCSD, Clifford was approached for displaying suspicious behavior, revealing that he had an outstanding warrant as well as was in position of narcotics.