Sunday, March 30, 2008

Observations from the Highway

Headquarters of Aubuchon Hardware sits on Rte. 2 as I head to work [and of course it continues to sit there after I have raced by]. Rte. 2 is called the Mohawk Trail, but there's nothing special or Mohawkey about it that I can see. It's a four-lane limited access highway like any other. One sight worth seeing used to be the enormous American flag that flew outside Aubuchon. It must have been the largest size made and had to have weighed a ton when wet. Not that anyone probably knew, because they never took it down. It was there in the rain, in the dark, at all times. I wonder if rules used to be different. I remember in the Girl Scouts we weren't supposed to fly the flag in the rain.

American Flag
Anyway, dear reader, it's gone now. I noticed the other day as I practiced my disciplinarian speech for class ("please be quiet"), that it had been replaced by a much smaller, no longer outsized flag. Bummer.

Also on Rte. 2 and it's still there, is the yellow traffic sign that says only:
I have asked my students about this and no one knows. Does Donald live there, I asked? Daffy?

I do enjoy seeing the sign and one day I await the crossing of a Really Famous Duck.

Moving to Rte. 290 in Worcester, the well-loved polar bear seems to be missing from the Polar Soda billboard.

What's up with that? Generations of children grew up enjoying that bear. It wasn't a picture. It was a three-dimensional white figure that swayed somewhat in the wind. In recent years I have thought that the bear was downsized and now it's gone. Maybe it's in for maintenance.

One fun thing to see from Rte. 290 can only be witnessed one day a year. It's the sight of several hundred blue-robed grads standing on the steps of Auburn High for their class picture. It's an inspiring sight full of hope, though you are going at least 60 mph when it comes into view and can only catch the quickest of glances. One or two of those happy alumni usually end up in my class across 290.

Art bloopers: "The artist used several layers of vanish to achieve this effect."
"This is never seen again in the works of Leonardo DaVinci or anywhere in his cannon."

A bientot


At 4:39 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I knew that Polar bear from when I was a kid, before I lived in New England, because we drove by it on the way to visit grandparents during summer vacations up from the mid-Atlantic states where I grew up. (We lived where the Navy wanted, not where my New Englander parents wanted.) It's family tradition to take 290 between the Pike and 495, and I still do it. I hadn't noticed it was gone, though I can't remember the last time I saw it either.

I've never seen the graduating class, but I think I have seen sporting events in progress (is it baseball or football that's right next to the road?).

At 5:41 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Oh yes, the Holy Cross football stadium....I forgot that. Good point, sm.


At 6:38 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

Ah yes, Holy Cross -- that's the one.

Could it be that the "famous ducks" aren't fowl but rather those machines the Sox ride on when they win the World Series?

At 6:57 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

I don't think so. Not all the way out on Rte. 2.......that would be a sight, eh?


At 2:09 AM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

It makes me feel happy to know that Americans have quirky little road signs and odd, weird, funny, kitsch-y sights on the roadside too.

I didn't know flags were meant to be taken down when it's raining ... in NZ what few flags are flown, remain there wind, rain and snow until they are a remnant of themselves - just a ragged rag flapping in the wind. We also have Maori(sovreignty) flags and other variations on the theme, because a lot of people want our national flag changed. Wouldn't happen in America I'm guessing ... :)

I've taken to reading out your bloopers to ABM - as a High School teacher he grimaces in sympathy!

At 2:32 AM , Blogger sandman1 said...

We do have people trying to change the national anthem from time to time -- something about all those references to bombs and so forth in the lyrics...

Poking around a bit I see both NZ and AU have people who want to change the flag -- and the arguments I saw that the two are easily confused seems persuasive. The significance of the US flag in everyday culture has, I would say, changed dramatically since 9/11. My mother observed that she'd not seen that since her youth when WW2 was still fresh. It is waning now though, I think.

Comedian (from yesteryear) Stan Freberg has an amusing musical bit about the creation of the flag:

G. Washington: "Stars? With Stripes?! How does that work, design-wise..."
B. Ross: "There's your flag, take it or leave it!"
GW: "I guess it's better than Don't Tread On Me."
BR: "Certainly!"
GW: "Well I'll run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes..."
(I'm not doing this justice...)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home