Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch – Going after it

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I’m approaching the end of the trip. And the journey’s been great: This Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch makes the great trip continue to the end! Again, I saw much between the last quirky stop in the South and the first one on this post. I focused on other attractions during that section. Why don’t you follow this link to earlier quirky attractions post here? Well, you don’t really have to, you know!! Of course, then you can find a post including links to all the quirky attractions here.

Kentucky and the Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch

Small town Munfordville, KY, hosts Kentucky’s Stonehenge. In fact, Munfordville native Chester Fryer built it with rocks he found scouring nearby Hatcher Valley for appropriate rocks. He moved them from their location to his Munfordville estate. In addition, his estate hosts other rock displays, including Earth Mysteries, The Garden of Gethsemane, Rock Gardens, and Rock Park.

Of course, you can visit any time from dawn to dusk. But, please do not touch or climb on the rocks. There is a display of rocks and flowers near the house, including a donation box. And, he appreciates donations! Here’s a link to the site.

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Metropolis Illinois

Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch
Giant Superman Statue in Metropolis IL

In 1973 Metropolis, IL commissioned comic book artist Neal Adams to develop ideas for an “Amazing World of Superman” theme park. Interestingly, the design included a 200-foot-tall statue of the “Man of Steel.” In the light of cost estimates of $30 million, the building of the park never happened. In 1986, the town commissioned a cheesy seven-foot-tall statue made of fiberglass.

Even the townspeople didn’t like it. All of a sudden, vandals mocked the Man of Steel with bullet holes! Eventually, the perforated Superman disappeared, replaced in 1993 with the current 15-foot-tall statue. Funding came from engraved bricks purchased by local citizens for $35 each. However, with a cost of $120,000, approximately 3,400 people bought bricks in this town of 6,700!

The current statue consists of bronze, deflecting most incoming speeding bullets! The statue construction company also built the giant Emmy outside the Television Hall of Fame in Hollywood. Just another of the Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch attractions!

The family-owned and operated museum located on Superman Square stands close by. Above all, the museum features over 70,000 artifacts from the life’s work of longtime Superman enthusiast Jim Hambrick. The museum showcases nearly every Superman toy ever produced and movie props and promotional material from the movies and TV series.

Casey IL – Heart of the Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch

Most noteworthy, the town of Casey, IL, features 12 certified World’s largest items and other big things. Consequently, they have all those world records! Significantly, the number fluctuates as they build more and other towns build something larger. Of course, this link to Casey IL tells you all about the town. In addition to the 12 world records, they also feature more than 20 “big things” but not world records. The list includes a mousetrap, pizza slicer, a birdcage, knitting needles, a crochet hook, and many others.

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In 2011, Casey unveiled the Guinness World Records certified largest wind chimes. Jim Bolin, a local businessman, wanted to do something for the community he called home and supported his business. Following the building of the wind chimes, other attractions opened for viewing. At this point, twelve items are certified world records. Particularly, they include Wind Chimes, Rocking Chair, Pitchfork, Golf Tee, Wooden Shoes, Mailbox, Key, Gavel, Swizzle Spoon, Golf Driver, Barber Pole, and Teeter Totter.

The idea turning into reality brought business to the town. Although the population still decreased over time, the economy improved as people visited the town to see all the objects. Indeed, the townspeople welcome all visitors with “open arms”!

Riverside Iowa – Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch

Lastly, or nearly lastly, Riverside, IA, comes up on the map. As a matter of fact, the attraction started as a semi-serious suggestion by Steve Miller, a town councilman and a Trekkie in Riverside, IA. At this point, the town council said, “Ok Steve, it’s your idea, go ahead and contact Gene Rodenberry about using the reference!” (Gene Rodenberry created the Star Trek brand.) Surprisingly, Rodenberry said “No one ever asked before. Go ahead!”. (I’m sure there were some documents passed back and forth, but essentially, that’s it.)

After that, the town constructed the sign in the picture above. Soon, the town altered its slogan from “Where the best begins” to “Where the Trek begins.” The annual summer festival changed from River Fest to Trek Fest!

In Star Trek lore, Iowa received identification of Captain Kirk’s birthplace, but no city got the credit. Of course, Steve Miller said, “Why not us?” And the rest is history, or, no, the rest is the future! Miller’s inspiration became official in the May 2009 reboot Star Trek movie where Riverside, IA, received identification of the birthplace! By the way, March 22nd is William Shatner’s actual birthday!

And that’s how Riverside Iowa gets credit as the Future Birthplace of Capt. James T. Kirk!

Waterloo Iowa – more of the Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch

Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch
Charles Manson Intersection

Although it looks like it does, this doesn’t have anything to do with Charles Manson. The streets obtained the names “Charles” and “Manson” long before the Charles Manson murders happened. It’s still kind of a spooky name for an intersection.

And home after the Quirky Wonderful Home Stretch

By the way, it’s my last picture taken as I returned home. What a long strange trip it has been!

Classic Rock Recollection

“Giant” by Gentle Giant

The birth of a realisation
The rise of a high expectation
Together successful, defiant
Together the parts make a Giant

Written by: Shulman / Minnear

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