Sunday, October 18, 2009

We all shrine on: Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina's Prospector Shriner with oil drum fez

It's always great when an eccentric roadside attraction is not far off the interstate if you're trying to make time, and such was the case on our last trip. Just minutes of I-95 in North Carolina sits the Roanoke Valley Shrine Club building and their gloriously peculiar Daniel Boone-esque mascot. For years, a prospector statue stood atop Elmo Garner Jewelers and Home Improvement in Roanoke Rapids. Worried the statue might blow over into the gas station next door in a storm (and hounded by an anti-prospector sign ordinance), Mr. Garner donated it to the Roanoke Valley Shrine Club, of which he was a member and where it has stood watch on a quiet street since 1989. His best feature by far is the oil drum on his head painted red to look like like a Shriner's fez. Clothes make the man.


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