Day 17 was a long day. A really long day. Google says it is 777 miles between my Day 16 and Day 17 motels. Of course I had several detours making one tired Andy. I got to my room at 11:30pm and had to be on the road today at 6:30am. I also lost an hour due to a change in time zone so you can understand why this post is a day late. All of that driving was worth it and I had 2 great days.
I got the third greatest compliment of my life when Capt’n Fritz contacted me through the blog and called me a “hoot.” I walked tall on day 17.
I have wanted to see, and deface, the Cadillac Ranch for well over a decade so I made it my first stop. It’s okay, graffiti is encouraged. A co-worker of mine said this place wasn’t impressive and she may have been a little right. Compared to all of the other sights I’ve seen on this trip, it was lacking. My biggest problem was with the other people. Because of sudden rains, unless you wanted to wade through mud, only 1 car was accessible to paint on. That car was surrounded by obnoxious kids with spray paint. I took some pictures and left. I didn’t want any further involvement in that mess.
An hour away from the Cadillac Ranch was the Groom Cross or rather The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Groom, Texas. I’d heard Texans love their religion, but I feel a 19 story cross is a bit ostentatious. Still it’s rather impressive and most importantly has a bathroom. Thanks for the pee break, Jesus!
Along with the giant cross, there are other sculptures depicting graphic scenes of Jesus being abused. There’s a man-made Cavalry Hill you can climb that is apparently 3,300 feet above sea level. It was made that height because Jesus was 33 when he was crucified. I’m sure many find this place uplifting. I find it a bit creepy.
It wasn’t until I was in the gift shop that I found the sinister side of this place. Seriously, this place is evil. There’s a famous depiction of the Archangel Michael defeating Satan. I’ve seen different versions of it, but here’s the one at Groom (with me helping beat up the prince of darkness). Note that Satan is depicted as a dragon-like beast.
Inside the gift shop there were pope and saint statues that had been given the cherub treatment. Each was a rosy cheeked Cupid in saint or pope clothes. They even had one that depicted the statue above. My issue? Satan is represented by the only black cherub. Not cool, Texas. Not cool at all. Fortunately every employee and customer I saw was a Big Mac away from a heart attack. That’s what you get, racist fatties!
On to a more positive topic and fantastic people. Sheb Wooley sang “The Purple People Eater.” Roger Miller sang “King of the Road” and voiced the rooster in Disney’s Robin Hood cartoon. Sure both did other things, but that’s what I know and love them for. They both grew up in Oklahoma and Sheb was married to Miller’s cousin. What else do they both have in common? They have streets that cross at Route 66!
Down Mr. Wooley’s street is Sand Hills Curiousity Shop where they sell nothing. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got here. One website said it’s hours of operation are 9:00pm – 5:00am. There were all manners of stories of the guy who runs or owns the place. Some talked about what a crazy character he was. One mentioned him flirting with a trio of French women. One person took to multiple websites saying the man was rude and his crass language and behavior was insulting and unfit for families with children. Being that I was tired, I didn’t want to be bothered with someone being rude.
Instead I ducked into the Roger Miller Museum. That was the best decision I made all day. Along with a sweet t-shirt and sticker, I met the three people below. From left to right are Pat, Dewayne, and Paula. This was another moment where an unplanned event turned into an amazing experience.
While making my purchase, I made my typical silly jokes. Pat actually liked them! She said Mr. Roger Miller would have liked me as he apparently had a similar sense of humor. Paula and Dewayne joined into our conversation and before I knew it, they were taking me across the street to their newest museum. The 100th Meridian Museum was actually closed, but they were super nice and gave me a free after hours tour (don’t worry, beyond the toothbrushes, I did make a donation). It was once a bank that was opened in the early 1900s for $5,000. Besides being a bank on the first floor, there was a barber in the basement, and a dentist/beautician on the second floor. Hair cut and teeth pulled all in the same room.
They are still going through this building to see what they have to exhibit. Because of the creepy stuff all over, I suggested they do a haunted, Halloween event. Paula liked my idea and said she would bring it up at their next board meeting. I was helpful! Both museums are struggling a little. I suggest you listen to Roger Miller songs and then send donations in appreciation of his awesomeness.
I also found this in a back room. It’s too funny not to include. Two volumes in one. A steal!
The heat and talking left me very thirsty and I was out of Diet Coke. I saw a soda machine down the street at the grocery store and headed down. Good idea. Look what I found!
After a long, long day I checked into my room at the Conway Days Inn. Sadly the nearby Pickles Gap Village closes at 5:40pm so I wasn’t able to stop and get a smashed penny. Fortunately I planned for this! I brought with me a small package containing a self-addressed stamped envelope, two quarters and a penny, one of my business cards, and two UD toothbrushes. I’ve also included a letter explaining who I am, what I’m doing, and how very sad I am that I couldn’t be there during business hours. Not only does their penny have Pickles Gap (which is great) but also mentions a nearby town: Toad Suck. I love that I live in a world with a place called Toad Suck.
Pickles Gap people, if you send me a smashed penny I will leave you great reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, and anywhere else you want! Even if you don’t, please enjoy the toothbrushes.
I forgot to add pictures of the pennies I got on Day 16. Better late than never. Bats, road runner, and elk. No pennies achieved on Day 17.
I’ll end with a quote from Mr. Roger Miller. “The hardest part of shooin’ flies, is gettin’ them little bitty socks on ’em.” Now send donations to the Roger Miller Museum in Erick, OK.