Do you live in the type of place that could have a smiley face water tower? I don’t. But I wish I did. This tower was along my route from Metropolis to Springfield, Ill. in the town of Makanda.
That bulbous knob with a smirk surveying the land has to do something for morale. Don’t you think? Seeing it for the first time, I found it was impossible not to smile back. He’s a seriously cheerful looking mo-fo.
Little did I know, (until 5-seconds ago when I tried to figure out just where it was that I saw this water tower) there is a listing of known towns with grinning water towers. I feel like this is very important information!
While riding from Metropolis towards Springfield, Illinois I passed through the town of Vienna. It was a place I’d never heard of before. As I slowed approaching the stop sign at IL-146, to my right was the most beautiful ghost. A Standard Oil station.
Seeing it immediately made me wish I could have experienced it in its former glory. How could something so lovely fall into such a state? I’m sure it is a case of monies best spent elsewhere. Trying to survive will always trump everything else.
Even so – part of me wishes that a preservation group could take this beautiful skeleton and return it to its original splendor. Can’t you imagine driving over the hose near the pumps and hearing the *ding-ding* of the bell? I suppose anyone younger than me might not even get that reference.
Yesterday, I learned a new word.
anemoia – n. nostalgia for a time you’ve never known.
Some articles about the Vienna Standard Oil Station:
When I left Fredericksburg, Virginia my plan was very loose. I didn’t have a route but I did have a few points on the map that I wanted to see. One of them was Metropolis, Illinois – the Official Home of Superman. Now I was never a huge Superman buff or anything but I was just curious about what went on in that town. There’s only one way that I know of to satisfy curiosity… go see something for yourself.
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
There is a 15-foot Superman in square:
The Super Museum:
Superman’s phone booth:
Some Kryponite found in Metropolis:
This is what the part of town by the Super Museum in bustling Metropolis looked like on a Tuesday morning in October:
While I was preparing to leave and head north, a man name John parked in front of me and went in to the bank. When he came back out, he struck up a conversation with me.
After 40 years of marriage, his wife divorced him. He returned to his hometown of Metropolis after 30 years of being away. He told me that the Super Museum was once a drug store, about his kids and grandkids, his wish to just have a few acres and some horses. Before he left he said if I ever passed through town again, that I should look him up. But never gave me any way to do contact him. I guess if I do pass through again, I’ll just stand in the middle of town and shout “John!” and see what happens.
Even if you’re not a huge Superman fan, a pit stop to Metropolis to see all the super goings-on is fun. ::thumbs up::