The Suitcase Lady


May 1, 2007, 10:24 pm

Last week I stopped at my favorite local coffee shop, The Culture Cafe. Rich, the owner, is also the barista, coffee roaster, waiter and purveyor of fascinating opinions.

He greeted me with, “I think this town needs a giant chicken. People could climb to an observation tower on the beak, and T-shirts could be sold below.”

Of course, I immediately grasped the brilliance of this big-bird, tourist attracting idea. Rich and I both know that our town’s number one tourist attraction is a submarine. “But it’s half under water”, Rich observed.

Our number two attraction is an oversize, fiberglass cow in front of the dairy. It’s more of a lawn ornament on steroids than a genuine tourist destination. Big, plastic cows are a dime a dozen in Wisconsin. The town of Neillsville has our cow trumped. Their cow, Chatty Belle, TALKS to her visitors.

Rich is not fixated on giant chickens. He feels that “anything that is obscenely big and makes people laugh” will do. I would add that the giant whatever-it-is also should be interactive.

My three favorite wacko buildings in a similar vein are:

Architectural historians call these buildings roadside vernacular architecture. Rich and I just call them fun.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Jenny

    I love this kind of stuff…especially anything related to food. Tail o’ the Pup…classic. There is a giant coffee mug somewhere too that I have been to, although I can’t remember where. And, one cannot forget Wisconsin’s own “Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame”…the giant muskie in Hayward. Too fun! Trust me, people would come to see a giant chicken. I sure would! Love, Jenny