“You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go
As a Throwback Thursday menagerie, I thought I would throw in some of my odds and ends from the past…some going way back and some not so long ago. I have been blessed to travel so many places and many of my travels happened long before I began writing about them. So, here they are, a potpourri of places diverse. ENJOY THE RIDE!
“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go
Most of my early life was spent in the western U.S. and, as such, I got to see deserts, mountains, Indian ruins and more.
Growing a love for antiquities and old things, I had many opportunities to visit old places during my many visits to Japan. I am especially fond of the awesome castles and amazing old shrines, many of which I have had the opportunity to visit. Here are a couple.
While living in Japan, I also visited Kyoto on a couple of occasions. Kyoto has wonderful old historic shrines and temples, and colorful Geisha…
Back in the U.S., I have been to both coasts and to the north and south and most points in between. Here are some of the places I have visited…
I have discovered that the world abounds with natural beauty. I have been blessed to see this beauty in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, the Philippines and other places.
Of course, when taking trips there are always fun things to try. When in Japan I tried quite a few new adventures. Perhaps my favorites were taking hot springs baths and going to the Sumo Wrestling events.
Beppu is probably the most famous of the hot springs resort towns in Japan. Located in Oita Prefecture, I had the opportunity to visit often and for different kinds of “baths”
Then there are the Sumos…I got to go to two of their tournaments and see the giant Konishiki wrestle. I will always be a fan of Sumo wrestling.
Of course, as a history major, I have always had an interest in things historical. One of my classes at Northern Arizona University was on Japanese literature and we studied Kunikida Doppo, who was considered one of Meiji Japan’s most well traveled writers. While living in Oita, I was able to visit his studio in Saiki. Ironically, my professor at NAU, Dr. Atkins, was a Kunikida Doppo expert, so it was a special trip for me.
One cannot study Japanese history without learning about the atrocities of World War II. The Americans dropped two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I have been able to visit both places. Ironically, in 1979 I also visited the Los Alamos museum where the bombs were initially built. So, I have seen both sides of the story.
And now, for a few other odds and ends, just for fun…
Recently, I was driving around in Lexington and came across a few more pieces of Wall Art on some walls around the University of Kentucky. Most of these apparently have been around for a while, but they were new to me. So, to add to my growing collection of Lexington outdoor wall art, I present you with a few more goodies.
Dronex Inc. always does a good job of parodies. They really did a good job on their work on a wall behind CD Central. Titled “Records Reimagined“, this work was completed in June 2012. These walls feature the work of over 25 Central Kentucky artists, illustrators and designers, all of whom have created new interpretations of LP covers, both famous and obscure.
Just down the street from CD Central is the Two Keys Tavern, one of many drinking establishments near the University campus. They have a back wall that has painted with beer advertising hot air balloons.
As I was waiting for my wife to get done with her job one day (she works at UK), i took a drive into a nearby neighborhood and came across a huge mural on the side wall if the Martina Brothers building at 300 Scott Street in Lexington.
I am not sure about the age or history of this mural or the significance. Newtown Crossing is the name of a fairly new apartment complex off Broadway, but not sure if this has anything to do with it.
A couple of years ago there was a new parking structure built on S. Limestone, just across the street from the Two Keys Tavern. A nice art project added some building art along the side of the garage. I think it adds some nice ambiance to the area.
Around the country one can find a number of fun and large Fiberglass Giants. Though most of what I touch on in this post is fiberglass, I do mention so HUGE giants made of other materials due to their fame and as a comparison to the sizes.
GIANT COWS AND BULLS
The fiberglass giant makers have had fun over the years as they have created some real huge and udderly mooooving creations. The giant shown above Salem Sue, the World’s Largest Holstein Cow. This monstrous mooer was built in 1974 at the cost of $40,000. The project was sponsored by the New Salem Lions Club in honor of the local dairy farming industry. The statue stands 38 feet high and is 50 feet long. It stands proudly on School Hill near Interstate 94 off exit 127 S and can be viewed for several miles.
Though Salem Sue is the Giant, there are many more cows out there strutting their stuff, from smaller than life to much larger than life…..here are a few from past road trips:
Perhaps the second largest cows can be found in Wisconsin. Not nearly as big as Salem Sue, these huge heifers still provide some awe. Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet is home to Sissy the Cow (below).
Just down the road from DeForest, in Janesville, WI is Bessie the Cow, who is likely about the same size. These two Cowlossus girls are both about 19 feet tall and 20 feet long. Both were manufactured by F.A.S.T Corp in Sparta, WI (as were many of those in this post)
Of course, there are many “lesser bovines” out there and here are a few of the fun ones I have come across over the years….
The first of these if the Springbank Snow Countess Monument in Woodstock, Ontario. She was a, champion milk producer (she became the World Champion Lifetime Butterfat Producer with a total of 9,062 pounds of butterfat and 207,000 pounds of milk), was born, raised, and died on the Springbank Farm, in Oxford County, Ontario. Her record held until 1954. She was designed by local artist Ross Butler. I include her for the honor even though she is actually made of cast iron and not fiberglass.
F.A.S.T. Corp is well known for their mass manufacture of fiberglass animals for local art projects. Dozens of these events have popped up around the country, including two in Lexington that featured horses. Some have features art on cows and here are a couple of fun examples:
The JELL-O Gallery in LeRoy, NY is a fun offbeat place to visit and they have a colorful cow!
A close cousin to the bovine is the bison (which many mistakenly call buffalo). There are a few of these around too. By far the biggest of these in Jamestown, ND. The “World’s Largest Buffalo” was built in 1959 and is actually made from cement. It is 26 feet tall, 46 feet long and weighs a mere 60 tons. Despite it being made of cement, I had to include it…
There are other “lesser bison” to be found on the back roads of America. As an iconic plains animal known specifically to the Americas, it is no doubt that it is honored in many places.
GIANT MOOSE STATUES
Another of the big American animals that can be seen around the country are moose. By far, thee world’s biggest moose is up in Canada and is not fiberglass. But, it should be shown here anyway.
Mac the Moose was put up in 1984 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Mac stands 32 feet tall and weighs in at 10 tons. He was constructed by Saskatoon artist, Don Foulds using a steel frame, covered with metal mesh and completed with 4 coats of cement.
Another common sight on roads around the states are Pink Elephants and other elephants.
Jumbo the Elephant was a real elephant from the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He died in St. Thomas, Ontario after being hit by a train. 100 years later, in 1985, the town built this 38 ton cement life sized statue, that is well over 15 feet tall.
But there are many other fiberglass behemoths, and many are pink. Not sure what started the Pink Elephant craze, but it is fun.
Perhaps one of the most famous of all of the pink elephants is Pinkie. Located in DeForest, WI this dude is sharp in his glasses.
Not to be confused with Pinky the Elephant, a 1963 creation now residing in Marquette, IA (and one I have yet to visit).
But wait, there are more….
I am not certain, but it appears that most of these come from the same mold from the company in Sparta, WI.
SOME DOGS, MICE AND FRIENDS
Among all of the others is a menagerie of animals like dogs, mice, giraffes. Here are a few more animals (birds and fish will be in Part 3 with the dinosaurs and oddities).