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Roadside News: Jan. 14, 2009

Hippie Museum: A “trove of hippie-era remnants” has been pulled from a burned-out (literally) commune north of San Francisco and “could end up being museum pieces at some point.”  Hippies are rarely enshrined in attractions.  They have an image problem — as seen in this account of the arrest of the captain of a historic tugboat in Waterford, New York, who wanted to live on his ship.  “I’m a museum. I’m not some hippie trying to have parties on the boat and do whatever I want.”

Touching the Janitor: A lifelike sculpture of a janitor in the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, finally gets a “do not touch” sign after 36 years of poking.  The artist died in 1996 of cancer “blamed on toxic resins and fumes from his life’s work.”  One wonders what he would have thought of today, when we are encouraged to grope our lifelike statues.

All Not Sheltered from Fallout: You know that bottomless budget Cold War days are over when even the government’s swanky Armageddon bunker hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has to lay off part of its serving staff.

•  Littering Hot Dog Man: “Man with Giant Hot Dog in his Yard is Found Guilty of Littering” in posh East Hampton, New York.  Guilty, yes, but, “The jury …. let him keep his hot dog man.”  There are many savory details, such as that the defendant “wore a yellow tie depicting a little boy urinating” during his trial.  What is it about these grinning weenies that makes people do crazy things?

Tidal Bowl, a 20-year-old piece of watery concept art in Port Townsend, Washington, is being scrapped.  Its nickname, “Tidy Bowl,” suggests why.  A similar fate does not seem likely for Wave Organ, which is known for its vigorous flushing.

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