10/14/2011

Hey, Look Me Over!

Three weeks of travel along the back roads and shorelines of the eastern seaboard, and I now have a raft of pictures to wade through.

It’s amazing what we feel we need to share with others. And while it could be argued that that includes this blog, a blog is different. People must actually seek it out and choose to be engaged by reading it. The stuff of dreams and nightmares that has been erected along our North American highways and byways is something else entirely!

What started this train of thought was this nightmarish rendition of a duck found nesting on eastern Long Island. If I was a little kid, in the back of Daddy’s car, and saw this thing rolling by, I’d be having bad dreams for a month!  The Big White Duck is actually a little museum that can hold about 4 people at a time. Once you’re laid out the back door, another person can slide in through the front. You’ll be greeted by a lonely woman who loves to cluck about the reason the duck exists (built by a duck farmer as a place from which to sell eggs in the 1930’s). It’s all slightly quaint and no doubt, gives people something to crow about during hunting season.

Not far from The Duck is Popeye. He stands beside a little red tractor, pipe tightly clenched as he beckons people to come in and visit the fresh market stall which, from time to time, features spinach.  He’s the hardest working employee in the place –stands there all day, never takes a break, always smiling…kind of makes you want to kick’im. (And I believe several people do take shots at, and of, him). Didn’t see Olive, but likely she was in the back, cooking cobs of corn and canning spinach.

Now THIS little home is remarkable, because it is actually a lighthouse offshore from Groton, Connecticut. It was built in the empire style, using red brick and white trim so that it would match the stately homes along the shoreline. It didn’t occur to the design committee of the day that it just looks plain odd sitting out there all by itself in the harbour, waiting for a wave. My first thought when I saw it was that it would be good place for a quarantine unit, or insane asylum, or perhaps both. It was occupied until the late 1980’s when the nutter who worked there died of an incurable disease. Okay, that last part’s not true –but it was automated in 1987.


As we travelled further south, we passed giant ears of corn, peaches, tomatoes, apples –just about every kind of fruit, vegetable and nut imaginable! And they weren’t all real!  And that’s when it occurred to me in this land of plenty,  that most of  these attractions were about food. Which is why this little porker is particularly apt. Piggly Wiggly, as  it turns out, was the first self serve grocery store in the United States  and launched a tsunami of change when it opened its doors. The packaging industry took off, as did canning and food preservation, labelling, marketing and advertising. No longer did you have to go and wait in line while the missus who served you and packaged your goods talked to  the chatterbox in front of you who got there first. Nope, you could stroll around the shop, pick out what you wanted, bring it to the cash register, and be on your way.


Done, done and done. This little Pig is your friend who will help you bring home the bacon easily!

3 comments:

David said...

Hi Susan!!
What a great trip. I saw that ducky on a travel show just recently.
Any bird butts along the road?

Susan said...

Hi Dave! Lots of bird butts and birds from behind-made me think of you several times when I couldn't make hide nor hair of 'em, but knew you would have!

Red said...

Try a trip out west and you'll find all kinds if giant this and that.
Sounds like you had a fun trip.