Tag Archives: Illinois

HIWAY AMERICA – The One and Only Hippie Memorial, Arcola Illinois

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the one and only hippie memorial

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Hippie Memorial.

Created by the late Bob Moomaw. Bob worked as a railroad clerk and tax assessor, but did not like either job. As an eccentric, independent artist with strong beliefs, he was able to give voice to his feelings, passions, and opinions through his art and the writing on the sides of buildings. He created the 62-foot-long artwork starting in 1992 to say something about his life and the era during which he lived. A nearby marker gives an interpretation of his work.

One and Only Hippie Memorial

Field review by the editors.

 

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Arcola, Illinois

While he was alive, Bob Moomaw was Arcola’s town crank. Not crazy-crank. Not village idiot-crank. A crank like Thomas Paine, Captain Nitwit, or Ski Demski: a patriotic thorn in the side of the powers that be. A guy who would defend with his life your right to flip him off, as well as his own right to paint incendiary slogans on his building located right on Main Street (which is why you flipped him off to begin with). A populist defending a populace that would just as soon he defend them from twenty miles down the road.

Hippie Seal

Arcola is a mixing pot of Roadside Quikcrete. A few miles away is Rockome Gardens, the Amish Amusement Park, known for its Haunted Barn and buildings made from empty bottles of caffeine-free 7-Up and Fresca. It was the birthplace of Johnny Gruelle,creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. A local museum, monument and yearly festival honors them. Arcola is the “Broomcorn Capital of the World.” There is a gourmet French restaurant in a bowling alley (June 2005 – Oops, reported moved out of the bowling alley). This, in a town of 2,700 some forty miles from Champaign.

The Hippie Years.

For many decades, Bob Moomaw lived and worked here. He served as a tax assessor and railroad clerk. He didn’t like either job. His joy and duty was painting messages of alert on the side of a building that he owned. According to a Chicago Tribune story from 1993, the messages included: “America you’re turning into a nation of minimum-wage hamburger flippers. Rebel. Think for yourself. It works!” And “Oh wretched world, more rank each day, and ruled by lunatics, the heroes have all gone away!” The messages changed several times a week, much like those on the outdoor signs of quirky motels, dry cleaners and churches.

He told the Tribune reporter: “My life has been the opposite of an adventure, it’s been one long dental appointment broken up by episodes of nothing happening.” Moomaw lost a leg to cancer in the late 80s and had bypass surgery just before starting the Hippie Memorial in 1992. In April 1998, Moomaw died of a heart attack, bequeathing the memorial to Gus Kelsey, a former Arcola hippie who had moved out of state. Kelsey refurbished it, and the city allowed it to be placed downtown, near the old railroad depot.

Always Remember bench.

The artwork is 62 feet long, with each foot representing one year of Bob Moomaw’s life. The first 26 feet include The Great Depression, World War II and 1950s hypocrisy. “The idea is that as my life passed through time, other people’s junk stuck to me and made me what I am – the product of leftovers from a previous existence,” Moomaw said.

The middle section is higher and more colorful, representing the Kennedy years and the coming of the hippies. It salutes their influence on freedom of expression and dissent. One of the metal pieces during this period is a personalized license plate reading “WOODSTC.” Other scraps are brightly painted with many of the classic peace symbols, including the Vulcan double-fingered greeting from Star Trek. This colorful period runs some twenty feet, from 1960-1980, and presumably also includes Nixon, Viet Nam, Stagflation, the bear market of ’74-75, and avocado green station wagons.

Small mindedness returned in 1980 with the election of Illinois native Ronald Reagan, and the last 18 feet are embedded with plain rusted scrap.

The work was dedicated at the first (and apparently only) Hippie Memorial Festival in June 1999. Plans to add a hippie movement flag, Volkswagen Beetle and a “twirling, three-sided neon peace sign” never got together, man.

Sharon Moomaw, Bob’s wife, described the work in her dedication speech. It is reprinted on a large sign next to the memorial. This is good, because without it, a new visitor has no idea what is going on. For example, since his life post-hippie was nearly as long as his life pre-hippie, the higher, more colorful center section looks like a simple bow to symmetry — a concept we would think foreign to Moomaw.

Alway Remember Dec 7, 1941.

The speech also makes it clear that he was a pot-stirrer, not a pot-smoker. (Well, maybe he was that, too, but you know what we mean) “Was Bob Moomaw a hippie? NO. He did have a beard and a ponytail while attending the university. He was THERE at the same TIME and PLACE as the hippies were, but he was raising his children then…to his shame, he was no hippie.”

Since he passed away, Moomaw’s America has become a different place, as shown by a new memorial in Arcola. The Hippie Memorial is on Oak Street. Just over the railroad tracks on Chestnut Street is a big marble monument urging remembrance.

Dedicated on Memorial Day, 2002, a black marble globe sits on top. Below it are chiseled quotes from Generals Patton and MacArthur, the Bible, Walt Whitman and George Bush, cheering fighting men and women. On both sides is a photo-etched American flag, with “Arcola, Illinois” and the zip code beneath in big letters. A time capsule is buried, to be opened on Memorial Day, 2052. At the far end of the little park are two small benches. One reads “Always Remember Dec. 7, 1941,” and the other reads “Always Remember Sept. 11, 2001.”

Bob Moomaw might have hated this park, but he would have defended its creators. They, in turn, have defended his Memorial in his absence. Which makes for a cranks’ gnash equilibrium – and another reason to visit Arcola.

The John Hancock Center in Chicago has installed a new observation platform on the 94th floor, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.

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The John Hancock Center in Chicago has installed a new observation platform on the 94th floor, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.

   

. The John Hancock Center in Chicago has installed a new observation platform on the 94th floor, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Chicago Tribune / Via youtube.com

2. Called TILT, the attraction uses hydraulic lifts to move the full-length windows forward at a 33-degree angle so people can get a proper bird’s eye view of the city 1,000ft below.

3. The tilting windows have metal bars on each side, which you grab hold of as the glass begins to move outwards.

4. TILT opens to the public this weekend and will cost $5 plus the admission to the observatory.

Eight people will be able to lean against the glass at one time.

5. Nichole Williamson, the general manager of 360 Chicago, the new name for the old John Hancock Observatory, said:

 

The movement in and out of the building is very controlled. We want it to be memorable and thrilling, but we don’t want to terrify anybody.

6. Alia Kingsbury, who visited the attraction on a school trip, told AP she was just happy she didn’t wet herself.

Chicago Tribune / Via youtube.com

Find out more about TILT here.

HIWAY AMERICA – THE RED HAIRED GIANTS OF LOVELOCK CAVE NEVADA

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NEVADAS MYSTERIOUS CAVE OF THE RED HAIRED GIANT

History Mysteries
Giants Head in the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Nevadas Mysterious Cave of the Red Haired Giants
By: Terrence Aym
Published: April 25, 2010

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Nevada’s mysterious cave of the red-haired giants

Many Native American tribes from the Northeast and Southwest still relate the legends of the red-haired giants and how their ancestors fought terrible, protracted wars against the giants when they first encountered them in North America almost 15,000 years ago.

Others, like the Aztecs and Mayans recorded their encounters with a race of giants to the north when they ventured out on exploratory expeditions.

Who were these red-haired giants that history books have ignored? Their burial sites and remains have been discovered on almost every continent.

In the United States they have been unearthed in Virginia and New York state, Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada.

And it’s the state of Nevada that the story of the native Paiute’s wars against the giant red-haired men transformed from a local myth to a scientific reality during 1924 when the Lovelock Caves were excavated.

At one time the Lovelock Cave was known as Horseshoe cave because of its U-shaped interior. The cavern—located about 20 miles south of modern day Lovelock, Nevada, is approximately 40-feet deep and 60-feet wide.

It’s a very old cave that pre-dates humans on this continent. In prehistoric times it lay underneath a giant inland lake called Lahontan that covered much of western Nevada. Geologists have determined the cavern was formed by the lake’s currents and wave action.

The legend

The Paiutes, a Native-American tribe indigenous to parts of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, told early white settlers about their ancestors’ battles with a ferocious race of white, red-haired giants. According to the Paiutes, the giants were already living in the area.

The Paiutes named the giants “Si-Te-Cah” that literally means “tule-eaters.” The tule is a fibrous water plant the giants wove into rafts to escape the Paiutes continuous attacks. They used the rafts to navigate across what remained of Lake Lahontan.

According to the Paiutes, the red-haired giants stood as tall as 12-feet and were a vicious, unapproachable people that killed and ate captured Paiutes as food.

The Paiutes told the early settlers that after many years of warfare, all the tribes in the area finally joined together to rid themselves of the giants.

One day as they chased down the few remaining red-haired enemy, the fleeing giants took refuge in a cave. The tribal warriors demanded their enemy come out and fight, but the giants steadfastly refused to leave their sanctuary.

Frustrated at not defeating their enemy with honor, the tribal chiefs had warriors fill the entrance to the cavern with brush and then set it on fire in a bid to force the giants out of the cave.

The few that did emerge were instantly slain with volleys of arrows. The giants that remained inside the cavern were asphyxiated.

Later, an earthquake rocked the region and the cave entrance collapsed leaving only enough room for bats to enter it and make it their home.

The excavation

Thousands of years later the cave was rediscovered and found to be loaded with bat guano almost 6-feet deep. Decaying bat guano becomes saltpeter, the chief ingredient of gunpowder, and was very valuable.

Therefore, in 1911 a company was created specifically to mine the guano. As the mining operation progressed, skeletons and fossils were found.

The guano was mined for almost 13 years before archaeologists were notified about the findings. Unfortunately, by then many of the artifacts had been accidentally destroyed or simply discarded.

Nevertheless, what the scientific researchers did recover was staggering: over 10,000 artifacts were unearthed including the mummified remains of two red-haired giants—one, a female 6.5-feet tall, the other male, over 8-feet tall.

Many of the artifacts (but not the giants) can be viewed at the small natural history museum located in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Confirmation of the myth

As the excavation of the cave progressed, the archaeologists came to the inescapable conclusion that the Paiutes myth was no myth; it was true.

What led them to this realization was the discovery of many broken arrows that had been shot into the cave and a dark layer of burned material under sections of the overlaying guano.

Among the thousands of artifacts recovered from this site of an unknown people is what some scientists are convinced is a calendar: a donut-shaped stone with exactly 365 notches carved along its outside rim and 52 corresponding notches along the inside.

But that was not to be the final chapter of red-haired giants in Nevada.

In February and June of 1931, two very large skeletons were found in the Humboldt dry lake bed near Lovelock, Nevada.

One of the skeletons measured 8.5-feet tall and was later described as having been wrapped in a gum-covered fabric similar to Egyptian mummies. The other was nearly 10-feet long. [Nevada Review-Miner newspaper, June 19, 1931.]

Links

Indian confronts the red-haired giants (artist’s conception)

Has An Ancient Giant Handprint Been Found In A Cave In Nevada?

 By Michael Snyder, on July 30th, 2013

Something really weird has been found on the wall of a cave in Nevada, and it is shaking a lot of people up.  Two paranormal investigators named MK Davis and Don Monroe claim to have stumbled upon the handprint of an ancient giant in Lovelock Cave, and the pictures that have been released to the public are absolutely startling.  If this handprint is real, it is estimated that it would have belonged to someone 18 feet all.  And what makes all of this even more compelling is that there is a very old Native American tradition that says that a tribe of red-haired giants was burned inside that cave a very long time ago.  So could we actually be looking at solid evidence that the old Native American tradition about the red-haired giants is actually real?

There has been a tremendous amount of interest in this particular cave going all the way back to 1911.  At that time, two guano miners claimed that they discovered several sets of giant bones inside the cave…

In 1911 David Pugh and James Hart, two guano miners (yes,mining bat poo is really a thing) were excavating a cave on the eastern side of Nevada when they found something intriguing buried under 250 tons of excrement.

According to the men’s bizarre tale, hidden beneath six feet of bat crap they discovered several sets of giant bones, remains which many now believe belong to the Si-Te-Cah, a storied Paiute tribe of red-haired cannibal giants. Legend has it that the last remaining giants were burned alive inside the cave thousands of years ago.

Unfortunately, nobody knows where those bones are today, and without hard evidence the excitement over that cave subsided over the years.

But now this discovery by MK Davis and Don Monroe is renewing interest in Lovelock cave.  According to Paranormal Geeks Radio, this handprint has a number of characteristics that point to it being authentic…

This knife and its sheath have been used to get a measurement. It is 18 inches. Look at Don’s hand compared to print!  If the proportions are equal to regular humans, this being would be 18 feet tall!

Besides what appears to be dermal ridges showing in the soot/fat mix that appears to be the basis of this hand print (from the cave ceiling and further legitimizing the story of a conflagration with the giants inside), the impression shows more pressure on the thenar eminence of the palm and the first three fingers, which is typical for anyone pushing or lifting something heavy (just hold your hands in front of your head as if you’re cradling a boulder – the inner aspect of your hand settles that weight).

Posted below is a video of MK Davis discussing this discovery in more detail.  What he has to say is quite compelling…

But this isn’t the only discovery of this nature that has come out in recent years

ImageImageImagehttp://youtu.be/8XnUiGjUpE0