Tuesday, May 12, 2009

big fun in a small town

When your day starts with you successfully tossing sneakers onto the branches of a shoe tree, you know it's all gonna be OK.  That particular footwear-bearing specimen stands alongside a very busy US 131 a few miles north of Kalkaska, Michigan.  Not only was there far more traffic whizzing by than we've seen at other shoe trees, this one had some unusual fruit, including a pair of waders way up high!  The wind was whipping things around pretty briskly, and that's a cool thing.
Along this route, you start to notice that populous areas up here are few and far between.  After finally finding a Starbucks in Gaylord (just off I-75) we ducked into Indian River for a peek at the Cross In the Woods and Nun Doll Museum!!  The giant crucifixion is currently under wraps, waiting for money to refurbish it (kind of like that "building fund" that Don remembers from growing up Catholic) but the gift shop still has plenty of shrine-centric snow  globes, keychains, mints, etc.  And a patron saint of highway driving emblazoned on cards and medallions.  We bought with conviction!
Our big stop today was a few miles to the east in Onaway.  Not a very big place, but one that people passing through often remember because of the giant metal heads--George Washington, Lady Liberty and at various times, Atlas, a helmeted soldier and others that Tom Moran creates at his iron works on the edge of town.  They're unveiled to the delight of everyone at the annual 4th of July Parade, and then auctioned off or sent to museums, collectors or civic organizations to be enjoyed by all.  Tom had to attend a trade show in Chicago (his real job involves a lot of welding work for power plants and utility companies) but we had a great tour courtesy of Jill.  Including some snooping around the edges of this year's parade project, super secret as it may be.  We did a phone interview with Tom, who blanched at the notion of being an artist, while heartily endorsing the idea that whatever time and energy he puts into these things comes back around a hundredfold.  
One side note--the guy hawking a giant loogie on the sidewalk in town needs to be stopped, before he does it again!

Music In the Van--Cat Stevens' Greatest Hits, "Washington Square Serenade" Steve Earle
Don's Found $$--would you believe just 1 cent?

1 comment:

Jody W said...

Yay! Jill is awesome!