Monday, December 30, 2013

The Price is White: The Big White Guy of Chicopee, Massachusetts sold at auction

For the past several decades, a friendly 30-foot fiberglass dude wearing a handsome white suit and hat has been a fixture around the greater Springfield, Massachusetts area, and since 1999 he has greeted motorists from his perch off the Massachusetts Turpike's Exit 6 off-ramp in front of the Plantation Inn in Chicopee. Back in 1970, a Mr. Mario Cantalini bought the Big White Guy, also known as Plantation Man or Southern Man (but not the Neil Young "Southern Man"), from a Framingham, Mass. pizza restaurant and converted him into an Uncle Sam for his Springfield Ford dealership. Then, in 1999, after he sold his dealership, he gave the big dude a monochromatic wardrobe makeover and moved him in front of  his new business, the Plantation Inn in Chicopee. Mr. Cantalini passed away last year at age 94, and now his relatives have closed the Inn and put the property, Big White Guy and all, up for auction last November. They didn't get their asking price for the Inn, but Big White Guy was sold for $11,500 to a Mr. Charlie Arment, Jr., a local businessman who bought the dude on behalf of a group of partners who plan to keep the statue somewhere in the greater Springfield area.

Good on you, Mr. Arment, for having your heart in the White place, being in the White place at the White time and doing the White thing by keeping Big White Guy local. You deserve a big hand.

Check out my source for all this great info here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like an Eccentric Roadside Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we'd share some Christmas cards we've made over the years commemorating our road trips with a little help from our friend Mr. Photoshop, including these great eccentric roadside sights...

...the American Gothic house in Eldon, Iowa...

 ...Death Valley...

 ...The Big Duck, Long Island, New York...

 ...Presidents Park, Williamsburg, Virginia...

...and the Hudson River, Kingston, New York.

We'd mail you one but we just ran out of stamps.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Big time move: The world's biggest cuckoo clock finds a new perch

We found out recently that the world's biggest cuckoo clock, which we visited in Wilmot, Ohio in 2007, has moved to a new home. It's been restored and now sits at the intersection of Main and Broadway Streets, 15 miles away in Sugar Creek, Ohio, proving that Ohio is still the most cuckoo state in the country. We've never been to Sugar Creek, but here's a rerun of the post we did after our swell visit to Wilmot:

 World's biggest cuckoo (I'm working on a self-deprecating joke here, give me a minute) clock

 The masses throng to watch, enthralled.

Grandma's Alpine Homestead is a fine restaurant/tourist trap in the Amish Ohio town of Wilmot that boasts the world's biggest cuckoo clock. This bit of bravado is a little bit controversial in large cuckoo clock circles, as a Michigan town makes the same claim. It would have to be a pretty darn big one to beat Wilmot's timepiece, though. We stopped by in 2007 and were lucky to view the clock in a newly refurbished luster. According to (the bible, if you ask me), 16 volunteers spent 80 hours painting, varnishing and regrouting this tribute to German-Swiss timekeeping that would make a Swiss Miss cry in her cocoa. Hampton Hotels also coughed up $20,000 for the clock's on-going care (cuckoo! cuckoo!). Our visit's timing was excellent. After a little browsing in the gift shop we made our way to the patio for a recital featuring Old World characters doing their cuckoo clock shtick as the clock struck. You'd be cuckoo if you didn't stop and see this. Here's some more info: 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

No one I think is in my tree: Remembering John Lennon's New York City

 Photo by the great Bob Gruen

 The Dakota

Strawberry Fields

We remember John Lennon on this day with a look back on our post about The Dakota, the New York City building where he lived until his passing away on this day in 1980, and Strawberry Fields, the Central Park memorial in his honor (click here). Dreams sweet dreams for you, dreams sweet dreams for me.