Tag: Roadside America

The Very Handsome Muffler Man of Hancock, Massachusetts

The Very Handsome Muffler Man of Hancock, Massachusetts

Well, well, well. Would you look at this dapper gent with his new paint job!

The last time I stopped in for a visit The Big Man was suffering from a heinous case of the peels. This picture was snapped in 2012. He’d even lost his hat. Poor fella.

Seeing him looking so polished does the ole ticker good. Just look at that bowtie!

One of the funny things about Muffler Man repairs is how they become personalized. For example, the Uniontown, PA Bunyan with his bedroom eyes and the Stony Point, NY giant with his muy macho chest hair. Well, get a load of the lunula on this guy!

…and he matches the Bonnie.

Welcome back, handsome!

Roadside Americana: Greetings from Woolwich – Mainer C. Lobster

Roadside Americana: Greetings from Woolwich – Mainer C. Lobster

Mainer C. Lobster sits outside of Taste of Maine restaurant in Woolwich, Maine on Route 1. Isn’t he glorious?

Having a lobster this excited about well, everything would probably bring a lot of sunshine to your life.

I’m a little bummed to discover that I could’ve gone inside and bought a magnet with his mug on it in the restaurant gift shop. First of all… restaurant gift shop? Tres Cracker Barrel. But, I did get to see Mainer with the addition of two new teeth, based on the photos posted on Roadside America. Lose out on a magnet, gain a tooth or two. Seems alright, I guess.

Taste of Maine
161 Main St,
Woolwich, ME 04579

Serenity Glass Park – Port Allegany, Pennsylvania

Serenity Glass Park – Port Allegany, Pennsylvania

While I was riding along Route 6 in Pennsylvania, I passed through Port Allegany. Right in the middle of town sits a small but eye-catching park featuring colorful glass block structures. I couldn’t resist stopping to get a look at what the story was. It was called Serenity Glass Park.

Though the park is small and appears to still be under construction, you could tell it was big on meaning. Port Allegany’s economy has apparently been largely dependant on glass manufacturing. In 2016, Pittsburgh Corning, a manufacturer of glass blocks and long-time local employer, shuttered its doors.

When I pass through small towns like Port Allegheny, there is a sense of community and a unique flavor that I don’t experience on my island of nearly 8 million people. Here, we seem to go out of our way to avoid contact with each other rather than find ways to come together and celebrate what binds us. We are faceless, nameless, anonymous ants scurrying about. Everything is a franchise. Perhaps that’s why I love passing through small town America. It’s like an expedition to find normalcy.

Sometimes I just want to hug these little towns and keep them close so that they live forever.

 

 

 

The Man With a Plan for a Can, The Legend – Chef Boyardee

The Man With a Plan for a Can, The Legend – Chef Boyardee

Every American kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s probably had more than their fair share of curious meatlumps and squishy sketties from a can courtesy of this dude. The man with the can – Chef Boyardee.

Most people probably think Chef Boyardee was just a marketing character. But no, Hector Boiardi was a real man with a plan and not just a can. A statue of his likeness stands outside of Con Agra Foods in Milton, Pennsylvania.

Chef Boyardee stands at:
30 Marr St.,
Milton, PA

Serendipity is a… Giant Rocking Chair?

Serendipity is a… Giant Rocking Chair?

“Babe! You’re never going to believe where I’m standing right now!”
“Where?”
“In front of the world’s largest rocking chair!”
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Actually, I ended up here completely by accident.”
“Of course you did.”

My husband Kenny’s sarcasm came through loud and clear, even in text. It’s one of those things you learn to interpret after you’ve been partnered for a while. But, for all his disbelief that I hadn’t sought out the giant rocker – it was true.

While bumbling along The National Road in Illinois, I saw a sign for the World’s Largest Wind Chimes. Look… when something like that is advertised on a road sign? You visit it. It could go one of two ways: A fantastic triumph of roadsidery -or- a letdown of epic proportions. Both scenarios could be a win.

When I pulled in to Casey, Illinois following the signs for the chimes I was treated to a fantastic display of roadside Americana. Not only were there giant wind chimes (which you can ring), but sweet holy moly, there was a giant rocking chair, a mailbox, a pencil, a metal cactus. Holy crap, this place was awesome!

Big things, small town.

Casey wasn’t on my radar to visit, I’d just been passing through. Perhaps the universe tugged me there.

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