Archives for July 2016
“Hot Dogs, Ice Cream, and World Famous Log Rolls”
That’s what Stuckey’s advertised.
Stuckey’s roadside offerings have long been traveler favorites, and Stuckey’s is still in business in many places. The one pictured here, near Adrian TX on I-40 is not one of those. The building and signs visibly demonstrate that folks won’t be stopping here for much more than the Milepost Muse did– to take a photograph.
The stop, though, brought back some Stuckey’s memories of my own from the 1950’s. As a child my parents often stopped at Stuckey’s so all of our big family could use the restrooms. Sometimes, by use of either allowances or persistent agitation, we left with a hot dog, an ice cream cone, or one of those crazy sweet nougat rolls. Seemingly just as often, one or more of us would over-indulge and Dad would have to pull over to let someone empty out a stomach. Yuck! Wo be to the brother or sister who had to take the other siblings’ reactions to that.
My oldest sister and I were from Dad’s first marriage. We frequently made custodial visits to our mother and her second husband in St. Louis while we were still young. I remember one time when my mother and stepfather came to Kansas City to pick us up for a short summer visit. My stepfather had bought a powerful new Pontiac and it confidently took curve after curve on the twisty, two lane Highway 40 that was the main route in those days. My stepfather also used the full power of the car’s roaring V8 engine to pass trucks on rolling hills and the few short straightaways.
We always could count on at least one Stuckey’s stop on those trips; to use the clean restrooms and grab one of the treats we looked forward to at that memorable roadside institution: Stuckey’s.
Hot Dogs, Ice Cream, and World Famous Log Rolls!
Wind Turbines and Cumulous Clouds
When I was a kid, we bought those little colored pinwheel spinners for practically nothing. They were sold in dime stores, and given away as prizes at carnivals that traveled the country. Pinwheels were plastic fans attached to a stick handle. More fancy models are still sold as toys and yard décor.
We used to run to force wind into them, creating the spinning action. The faster the runner, the faster the little pinwheel would go. I even had one attached as a nose cone to a scrap-wood toy plane I had constructed.
Today, giant wind driven turbines use a 3-bladed “pinwheel” to capture wind energy and convert it to electricity. Such “pinwheel” farms now dot the landscape across much of the country where wind is not blocked by geographic features. Most wind turbines seen along our highways are white, but perhaps someone will decide to use different designs or colors in the future. An imaginative future artist will likely use the blades to create some kind of linear picture in the sky.
According to a recent Huffington Post news release, citing a market report by The American Wind Energy Association, “wind power supports a record 88,000 jobs — a 20 percent increase over last year. Today, wind — the fastest-growing energy source — provides nearly 5 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Program.”
Those little toy pinwheels have gone big time! Thousands of wind turbines like those in this photograph, taken near Adrian TX, dot our landscape—slowly revolving under wind-driven clouds. Pinwheels in the sky.