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A Day in the Life – Will Ride For Nonsense

me and the peg leg pirate in pa

What is it about a giant, fiberglass peg-legged pirate that will make me ride 170 miles out of my way?

Is that the dumbest sentence you’ve ever read?

Sometimes my ‘reasons’ for riding must seem completely ridiculous. And on more than one occasion I’ve wondered: it is really the thing that I want to see – or – is just an excuse to go for a ride?

Maybe it’s a little of both?

Roadside stuff taps into the whimsical parts of life that I love.  So much of my day to day life is… serious. Excursions to see giant chickens and pirates and muffler men (oh my!) offer a perfect silly escape from the same old same old. If seeing something like a humongous cauliflower doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I think you’ve got problems.

Of course, when I do have a specific destination in mind I do try to string together a great ride to get there. It becomes a win-win situation. Seeing something silly and getting in a great ride. Will ride for nonsense.

How About You?

Are you often focused on something specific when you go out for rides?

 

On the Tail of the Comets Comes a Girlie Motorcycle Rider

bill haley and the comets music notes chester pa

My travels during the Void Rally 8 brought me to Chester, Pennsylvania. The bonus location was a tribute to Bill Haley and the Comets who recorded at a local radio station. Though the building and its musical history have been torn down and lost to time, there are 2 black rubber musical notes embedded in the sidewalk.

…All that remains now are the anonymous inlays in the sidewalk on Crosby Street, cracked with age. Take a picture of a note inlayed in the sidewalk.

When I pulled up to 5th & Crosby I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I pulled into a parking lot and opened my topbox to read my rally book. As I stood looking at the pages, I caught a glimpse of a grandfatherly man walking with a little girl of about 4 or 5. I could feel their gaze fixed on me from about 50 yards.

After reading the rally book entry for the bonus, I closed up my topbox and set off walking across the street looking for the music notes.

By the time I photographed the music notes and walked back to my motorcycle, the man and the little girl were standing in front of my bike. I smiled and gave a nod, getting myself ready to shove off again.

As I stood there momentarily, the man walked towards me and said something. I still had my helmet on with my earplugs in so I let him know and asked him to speak up.

“How you doin’ t’day?”

“Doing great! You?”

“My little friend over here wanted to come get a look at you. I told her that you were a girl but she wasn’t so sure.”

I looked toward the little girl who had her face cradled between the bars of the parking lot fence . She was holding on with both hands and swinging one leg. She stared at me curiously.

I waved to her and laughed. “Oh, I’m definitely a girl, alright.”

“Oh, I know. I told her. But she had to see for herself.”

And with that, he put his hand on my shoulder as if to say take care and walked back to the little girl smiling.

He once again took the little girl’s hand and they walked back the way that they came. She kept looking back, stealing glances at me. As I exited the lot, I honked and waved to her once more.

It has been over a week now since I saw that little girl and I haven’t forgotten about the inquisitive twinkle in her eye. I hope that she doesn’t forget the lady on the motorcycle or at least the idea that if they want to… girls can ride motorcycles, too.

Roadside Americana: The Scary Pie Lady of Frackville PA.

I may have to start rethinking my penchant for visiting roadside statues.

Exhibit A:

Just check out the cold, dead eyes on these two.

Scary pie mama statue

And that poor kid… I’m not sure what’s more tragic; the headless doll, her haircut or the fact that she looks like she’s listening to the ocean in her mom’s pelvis like a giant seashell.

What do you think the pie is stuffed with? The souls of kittens? The hopes and dreams of children? The doll’s head?

scary pie lady shoes

By the looks of things in the (tres manly) shoe department, zombie pie lady must pull away from her bolts nightly, leaving her lofty perch behind to terrorize unsuspecting townspeople.

I hope they didn’t haunt my topbox.

scary pie people

Pie lady – so scary, so wrong, SO RIGHT! 

If you want to visit scary pie people:

115 West Coal St.
Frackville, PA
Roadside Treasure Map

Fading Americana: Ceresota Flour Barn – Lehigh County, PA

Fifty years from now, what will my generation have left behind that tugs at the heartstrings of people who like to play the “Remember when…” game? What will our contribution to fading Americana be?

Painted Barns

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time then you probably know that I am completely enamored by Mail Pouch Tobacco barns and advertising. But, I’m certainly not one to turn up my nose at any of the other lovely painted barns that decorate the landscape of rural America.

There is something perfect and sweet about the life that I imagine being attached to such places. In my mind they represent an ideal, a kind of life that is fading from the fabric of America as sanitized suburbia creeps further and further.

Ceresota Flour Barn Lehigh County Pennsylvania

This Ceresota Flour barn on the Limeport Pike near Coopersburg, PA has to be one of the most lovely painted barns I’ve seen. And as it turns out, this mural replaced a fading Mail Pouch ad. I thought that the blue trim around the barn edges was reminiscent of Mail Pouch.

Ceresota painted barn pennsylvania

It makes me happy to know that there are people out there in the world who are working to hang on to the shadows of our popular culture.

See it on the ole Roadside Map.

Roadside Wish List: Mail Pouch Tobacco Mural – Pottsville, PA

To my own surprise I’ve been able to tick a few things off of my 2013 Motorcycle Roadside Stop Wishlist. Just this past weekend? Another mark in the “Done” column. ::pats self on back::

No doubt most people visit Pottstown, Pennsylvania for a free beer at the Yuengling Brewery. Me? I went for the Mail Pouch:

mail pouch tobacco mural pottsville pennsylvania

This mural must’ve been partially obscured by another building at one time. Even so, most of the ad is beautifully vibrant.

mail pouch tobacco pottsville pennsylvania

Location:
Maroon’s Sports Bar & Grill
556 N Centre St.
Pottsville, PA 17901