Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
March 10, 2009
• Rise of the Lobster: Big Betsey, at one time the world’s largest lobster, may be coming back. The 40-foot-long fiberglass crustacean once stood in Islamorada, Florida, but she disappeared in 2008 after her shopping plaza home was sold. Her owners tried to auction her on eBay — and failed. Now, according to the Florida Keys Keynoter, they’ve had a change of heart and plan to bring Betsey back, somewhere in the Upper Keys, “very soon.”
• Attention All Goonies Fans: The Clatsop County Historical Society in Astoria, Oregon, wants to turn that city’s old jail into an Oregon Film Museum. According to The Daily Astorian, the jail was where the opening scenes of The Goonies was filmed in 1985, and confused people keep asking at the city’s historic house museum, “Where’s the Goonies’ house?” Several movies have been filmed in Oregon and “It’s time to give the fans what they want,” the historical society told the Astorian. “But the appeal has got to be more than just ‘Goonies.'”
• Barbarians Sought: A local commission in New Ulm, Minnesota, has put out a call for German barbarians. According to the New Ulm Journal News, the town this September wants to celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of a battle led by Armnius of Cherusci, which thwarted Rome’s plans to conquer Germania (Armnius, known locally as Hermann the German, is the big statue mascot of New Ulm). The town has already lined up the Romans — now it just needs to find some local barbarian LARPs to kick their butts.
• Dept. Store Coal Mine: Perhaps in a riposte to all of the coal houses in West Virginia, the rival state of Kentucky plans to build a replica coal mine — coal is the official state mineral of Kentucky — in a former department store basement in Owensboro. Visitors would get helmets and air tanks, then ride the former store’s elevator down into the “mine.” A Tourist Bureau official, interviewed in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, said that the mine could be used for corporate “team-building workshops” as well. “We could simulate a mine disaster and have the teams work through it. It’s very unique.”
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