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Feb 18, 2013 7:04 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Tucson snowbird is last living carver of Mt. Rushmore

TUCSON- If there ever was a fifth face on Mount Rushmore, it would belong to Nick Clifford.

"I could talk to you all day about Mount Rushmore," Clifford says.

The native South Dakotan started working on the National Memorial in 1938 at age 17. "When I first started I got 50 cents an hour and we worked eight hours a day, six days a week," Clifford says.

Today the Tucson snowbird is 91. He's the last living worker who helped carve out the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. "I worked some on Lincoln and mostly on Roosevelt, down on the chin on Roosevelt," Clifford says.

He worked on Mount Rushmore in 1938, 1939 and 1940, not knowing at the time how symbolic the faces would become. "We have people from all over the world that come to view Mount Rushmore," Clifford says. "We get about three-million people a year now."

Clifford still spends May thru December in South Dakota and he still frequents Mount Rushmore. In 2004 he wrote a book called "Mount Rushmore Q&A". He signs copies at the monument's gift shop. "Everyone tells visitors they should go see Nick, so I talk to lots and lots of people every day," Clifford says.

Throughout his 91 years Clifford has held several jobs, but he says none came close to his first. "Nothing quite like working on Mount Rushmore," Clifford says.

He says the four faces make history. "I think they were very important to the United States and helped guide how the country should be run today," Clifford says.

To learn more about Clifford and his adventures on Mount Rushmore head to:

www.mountrushmorecarver.com/

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