Tag: Roadside America

Paulverizer – The Cyborg Muffler Man of Buena Vista, Virginia

Paulverizer – The Cyborg Muffler Man of Buena Vista, Virginia

This ain’t your mama’s muffler man. No, this? This is somethin’ else! You’ve got that familiar sturdy jaw and that manly mug but that’s about it.

And a nice little hat tip to the motorcycle.

Unfortunately, with the sky so hazy and the crazy backlighting, I didn’t snap very many good pictures. I should probably learn how to use a camera. Since I bungled this, you should probably take a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway and pop off in the town of Buena Vista, Virginia to have a look for yourself.

Paulverizer on Roadside America

Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Along with dinosaurs and my favorite, the Giant Chicken Army, cows have to be one of the most abundant roadside animal statues.

I saw two more big ladies of note while road tripping in September, both in Pennsylvania.

The well-loved big cow of Wilkes-Barre. She’s just up the road from the dilapidated big coffee mug.

This big mama stands outside of the Turkey Hill Experience.

A fine roadside specimen. Plus, there is gas and ice cream right there. But I suppose if you’re lactose intolerant, those two things may always be together. ::ba-dum-dum-tsss:: Try the veal! Ooooh, awkwaaaaard…

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before but, why, why, why do they have to make those milkbags so veiny?! GROSS!

Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

While puttering around the house on this rainy morning, the notion of posting some of the photos from my most recent road trip flittered in and out of my thoughts. That idea was swirled between the need to do laundry, buy dog food and have another cup of coffee.

Needing to buy dog food. Now, there is an unquestionable purpose and benefit. The dog has to eat and you have to feed it. The result is a happy dog and a happy person. The same can’t be said about sharing the dumb stuff I take pictures of while I’m out riding my motorcycle. There isn’t a direct need nor benefit.

What’s this thing, this compulsion to document and share? What purpose does taking a picture of a giant lobster and then showing you serve? None, really. And yet, it’s like an automatic behavior. At least the picture snapping part, as evidenced by the thousands of oddball photos on my iPhone.

This morning, I read an article in The Economist’s 1843 magazine: Japan’s pioneering street photographer about Daidō Moriyama. This quote, in particular, stayed with me:

He still prowls cities at the age of 79, although he now prefers to use a compact digital camera, snapping unobtrusively from waist-level. “We perceive countless images all day long and do not always focus on them,” he says.

It got me thinking about all of the things I like to take photos of – the whimsical, the artful, the goofball, the nostalgic and fading moments of our continuously hardening society. When people say to me, “you find the craziest things,” with regard to the 5-foot lobsters of life, it seems strange to me. Those things are right there all the time! Why don’t some people see them?

I suppose that while some of us are focused on buying dog food, our antennas just don’t pick up on those other signals. “We perceive countless images all day long and do not always focus on them.”

Maybe my riding and photo-snapping is a gentle reminder to myself to try to remember to see. See the things that make me smile, make me laugh, that keep youthful feelings in my heart.

Dragons, Elephants, and Lobster Cowboys

Dragons, Elephants, and Lobster Cowboys

These photographs are an assortment of art and animal-things I’ve spotted in my travels over the last few weeks. They have no real connection to each other except that they are not connected. Now, in that un-connected connection, they’re connected. Damn it!

A very exciting-looking gas station, indeed. It almost makes you forget that you paid $3+/gallon at the pump. Or that you might be mugged by a clown on your way to make a pee-pee.

It’s a man.  A man named Dan, who just happens to be saddled up on a lobster because of course, he is. When I showed this to my daughter Chloe, she asked if it was “that dude from Jurassic Park.” Now I can’t unsee it.

Also, I wish he was holding a banana in that empty hand. Something about that seems so right to me.

In art, and in life we see and hear what we want to. Or perhaps what we need to, at a given time. Some of us are tuned in to seeing hearts, or faces or animals in the clouds. Some of us, are not. The experiences that brought us to this very moment shape the way we interpret all manner of things.

This piece? This piece I interpret as mom-circle at Target with the sounds of “mom, mommy, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mom, mom, momma, mom…” trailing behind her as she clings tenuously to her sanity.

Opera-singing dragon. At least, that’s how I see it.

Harkening back to people seeing things – being able to assemble a lovely little elephant from scraps of car parts is important work. Maybe the most important-est. To be able to create something lovely where others see junk… divine 🙂

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just crank it up by the tail and have it scoot around the yard? It’s springy feet stomping like pistons and a trail of peanut-scented smoke in its wake. If only.

Been Thinkin’ ’bout the Lincoln

Been Thinkin’ ’bout the Lincoln

Over the weekend I plucked a book off the shelf that I’ve had for a few years now: Lincoln Highway Companion: A Guide to America’s First Coast-to-Coast Road by Brian Butko. Flipping through its pages, makes me want to hit the road. I wish I could pinpoint what it was that initially sparked my interest in Americana.

Whenever I’ve traveled along the western half of Pennsylvania’s section of the Lincoln Highway, I’ve had a great time. The riding itself can be dull in some places with lots of traffic lights and congestion. But, those population centers lighten up as you go west and the sights overshadow the annoyance.

Some of the things I’ve seen along the way in PA:

Haines Shoe House – Hellam, PA

Mmmm… donuts… – Maple Donuts in York, PA

Pied Piper – Schellsburg, PA

Dutch Haven – Where I had my first taste of Shoo Fly Pie – Ronks, PA

Mural at the Bison Corral – Schellsburg, PA

Mural at the Bison Corral – Schellsburg, PA

Totem Pole Playhouse / Mail Pouch Barn – Ortanna, PA

Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum – Ortanna, PA

Ms. Penny Candy at Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum – Ortanna, PA

Vincent Van Gas a Lincoln Highway Pump Parade gas pump – Schellsburg, PA

Bull Durham ghost ad – Bedford, PA

Dunkle’s Gulf – Bedford, PA

The Coffee Pot – Bedford, PA

Near Jennertown / Stoyestown, PA

Wayne Fettro mural and a Lincoln Highway Pump Parade gas pump – Stoyestown, PA

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