Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Roadside Statues of North America: Somebody's Top-21 List

"21 Roadside Statues"
Eric Peterson,

"Without a doubt the most prevalent form of roadside kitsch, the larger-than-life statue takes a familiar image and presents it in an entirely new context.

"Maybe it's a fish out of water. Or a corporate mascot finally free from the label on a can of beans. Or it might be a city's favorite son or daughter, molded in concrete to forever remind people of the local link to greatness.

"There is something at once disconcerting and reassuring about colossal statues near the highway. Like guardians of this strange land you're speeding through, they watch and protect. It's nearly impossible to escape the stare of someone who looms 100 feet over a city...."

The list goes from the Hobo Joe Statue in Buckeye, Arizona (#21) to Turtleford, Saskatchewan's, Ernie the Turtle; by way of the Jimmy Carter Peanut Sculpture in Plains, Georgia (#17). You can't make this sort of thing up.

If you think there are a disproportionate number of Minnesota roadside sculptures in the list, there's a reason: the state of Minnesota is famous (or notorious, depending on your point of view) for having an abundance of these cultural icons.

The list isn't exhaustive, and the ranking (in my opinion) subjective - but it's a fun read, with a photo for every statue.

Have fun.

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