Monday, December 31, 2007

From the email in-box: Show Boat Service, Hastings NE

Here's a classic roadside site - an inland ship!  There were/are quite a few of these, but they rarely survive.  This one was located on Showboat Road, just East of Hastings NE, and there's hope that it'll come back again - an amazing new complex is being built at this former intersection, focused on people who actually race (see website: Motorsport Park Hastings) and enjoy cars and history.  Rumor has it that the Show Boat may come back in one of the race park!  Way-to-go, George, in revitalizing this section of Hastings!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

From the email inbox: big nerds?

From: PFF
H. is obsessed with you and what you do. She loves your website and your tshirt and has asked for one for her next birthday. She still remembers your world's largest Nerd. It helps that she is enamored with all things candy, and the concept of a "world's largest" Nerd blows her 8 year old mind. She got a pack of Nerds in her stocking and immediately starting putting the big ones in a baggie. She wants to know how big they are compared to your record Nerd.

And, hey, if any of them is bigger - do you wanna buy it? Every day she looks at the baggie of potential record-sized Nerds and her mouth waters. She can't hold out much longer....the little sugar junkie.

Friday, December 21, 2007

WLT On the Road

We're out of the office over the holidays, Dec. 22 - Jan. 1. But, when there's internet access we'll update!

Happy Holidays, Drive Safe, and have a Big New Year!

-Erika Nelson
-Rachel Wilson

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why World's Largest Things Loves Lucas Kansas

Advantages of basing your operation in a small town:

1. When you call the fire department because a limb has pulled the power line away from the house (but not disconnected) creating a brilliant display of sparks and arcs just feet away from the business computers, you can watch the volunteer firemen get into the trucks and speed over from the station just two blocks away.

2. When your utilities are impared by bad weather, the City Crew will hunt you down and tell you how things are going

3. The folks at the bank will explain everything about an account, no matter how small, and address your concerns immediately (especially when it comes to stopping a check written to a fraudulant slam/scam solicitation). And they'll ask how the fire went.

4. The printer doing your newsletters won't hesitate to call you to proof it on the press, after making sure the sparks from the electrical box haven't started a fire in the wall (see #1 above).

5. The postmaster knows you by name, and will also take the time to research and explain options available for mailing as a Non-Profit entity, even sending a copy of your newsletter to their head office for design advice, complying with postal codes for smooth delivery. And, she'll ask how the fire went.

6. They'll read Weekly Whats Large Where out loud at the Assisted Living center every week, from the paper printed by #4 above, and make sure to ask how the fire went at the next Chamber of Commerce meeting.

7. You can look out the window at the folk art environment next door after a winter storm, help clean up broken limbs, and have your own limbs removed by the time you get home by an anonymous person. And the other people removing limbs will ask how the fire went.

8. The folks at the cafe will tell the story of the World's Largest Thing in town better than the people who made it happen (#2 above), and they'll ask about the fire.

9. With internet service (provided by the same people who donated the substrate for Lucas's World's Largest Thing), geography no longer matters, and you can enjoy the quality of life afforded by Small Town living, while still keeping connected with the global marketplace.

World's Largest Things Loves Lucas!

Postcards on their Way to Members!

"Being a Member Has its Priveleges..." What commercial is that from - American Express? Well, it's just as apt for World's Largest Things, Inc. Postcards to members went out today, so supporters of World's Largest will be some of the FIRST to get their hands on the NEW Souvenir Travel Plate postcards!

Wish you were one of the lucky recipients? Become a Member Today!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mailing lists

...working on updating the Mailing list for the upcoming "Big Idea" distribution. Had a short interruption while branches knocked out power here and there throughout Lucas, and ripped the service line out of World's Largest Things headquarters. Service re-established at 10:30 today, so only lost a day of productivity!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Upcoming Speaking Engagement

Phone confirmation of yet another Kansas Humanities Council Speakers Bureau speaking engagement for World's Largest Things and Roadside Attractions!

The folks at Park City are already planning ahead for 2008, with a WLThings talk scheduled for November 8th. More info as the time draws near!

Postcards arrived, delivered...

Now you can find World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate postcards in retail stores! If you live in close proximity to Lucas, that is...

They arrived Friday, and were separated and delivered Monday before the ice storms swept through the area. Featured businesses with World's Largest:

Kansas Originals Market, Wilson KS
Little Kansas Village Lines, Lincoln KS
Home Oil Service, Lucas KS
K-18 Cafe, Lucas KS
Garden of Eden, Lucas KS
Grassroots Art Center, Lucas KS

And, of course, World's Largest Things home office, Lucas KS!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Big Idea

Winter newsletter, Vol. 1 Issue 2 - being printed now! 

They were originally scheduled for November, but that just didn't happen. We're still recovering from a computer crash that killed the templates (and mailing lists!) from Vol. 1 Issue 1 of "Big Idea", but have finally redesigned in the favored format.

New this year is the use of a local printer, trying to keep rural life sustainable and keep World's Largest Things, Inc. connected to the wonderful town it's based in... So, it's on the desk at Lucas Publishing, slated for this week (Dec 10 - 14) for printing.

Members, you'll ge getting yours soon! Others, Become a Member to join the club.

Thank you for your continued support!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Swedish World's Largest Things in the making...

from the Etc. section...

By most accounts, there isn't much reason to travel to Västerbotten or Norbotten, two of Sweden's northernmost counties. Oh, the occasional tourist comes for whitewater rafting, but the region "is in the middle of nowhere, so no one knows about it," says Thorbjörn Holmlund. He's a tourism promoter and admits there have been days when "I've come close to crying." But now he can foresee a bright future. Why? It's all due to a vote last week by Norbotten commissioners, approving of a moose. But not just any moose. This one will be man-made – of wood – and construction could begin any day now. In a place already teeming with the real thing, how is a man-made moose going to close the tourism gap? Well, it will straddle a mountaintop on the boundary between Västerbotten and Norbotten, with its forelegs in one county and its hindquarters in the other. It also will be as long as it is high: 150 feet. An equally tall man-made "pine tree" beside it will contain an elevator that lifts visitors to the entrance, the critter's mouth. From inside, there will be spectacular views of the countryside below, and in the – ahem – belly of the beast will be a restaurant, a 350-seat concert hall, a conference center, and, of course, a gift shop. The project is projected to cost $9.4 million. After that vote by the commissioners, Holmlund told journalists, "My whole body is shaking with joy."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

WLT Board Meeting

December 1, 2007 - Always a grand time! Agenda:

Board Meeting December 1st, 2007

Things to Talk About - Last meeting August 7th

Good response from last mailing. Will see updated member list and renewals

Treasurer's report: More coming in than going out! Established banking relations with Pony Express Community Bank, Lucas. Will update everyone and have books on hand

Gerstenslager: Updates?

Web: Took advice about Blog - working out well. Re-designed home page and Press pages (Rachel). Blog also serves as a Value Added Feature for Members - archiving Weekly Whats Large Where columns

Grants: Slogging through Grants dot Gov site. Advisory Board member keeping up with non-profit information sources (Nancy Jo). Secret Biz Site a Gem! Erika, Slacker.

Workshops: Erika is attending some great workshops from the Arts Council, including Fundraising wkshp. on Nov. 30th in Wichita. Attended a Foundations workshop in October, convinced Chamber of Commerce to order Kansas Foundations resource. Attended Media Workshop with the National Scenic Byways council, director passed along a great book - will bring...

Promotion: TV - lots lately, some more coming up. Postcards - Just designed some for WLT and Lucas community featuring the WL Souvenir Travel Plate, ordering now. Newsletters - December in the works, working with local printer for tabloid size, office supply copy place for inserts. Will be out mid-December. Tees - Reprinted old design, working on a WLTravel Plate design for Spring '08

Affiliations: KS Arts on Tour Roster for FY '09 - '11, KS Humanities Council Speakers Bureau FY '08 - '10, KS Sampler Festival '08?

That's whattIgot... RW and EN

Monday, November 26, 2007

Early Shell Gas Station

1930s Quality Oil Co. photo of the bent green wood framework
of one of the 8 shell-shaped stations under construction - from Old Gas dot com...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Souvenir Travel Plate Postcard

Final design!  Will be available at the Worlds Largest Things Souvenir Stand in December....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kansas Arts Commission Arts on Tour

Woo hoo! Just got notice from the Kansas Arts Commission that I'm included on their 2008 - 2011 Arts on Tour roster. That means that the Kansas Arts on Tour Program provides 40% of the total contract fee to presenters who book artists listed on the Kansas Arts on Tour Roster.

Presenters must meet eligibility requirements, and each eligible presenter can receive up to $7500 annually in KATP support.

Which means, communities can now use this program in developing their own Community Icon with Erika, or engage in residencies or shorter workshops exploring art projects in their communities with an odd or interesting bent.

Presenters can download the guidelines and forms off the website: Kansas Arts Commission, go to "Grants" and click on "Arts Organizations" or "Non Arts Organizations", for complete instructions. Funds can be applied for beginning in February for the upcoming fiscal year.

I'll make a page on the World's Largest Things site listing possible programs, and links to the Arts Commission forms once all the paperwork is in.

Once again, Kudos to the State of Kansas for encouraging Art Outside the Box...
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Koons Bunny Balloon

Why I love Jeff Koons - he sold the idea of a stainless steel replica of an inflated bunny in the 80s as an art piece,  and now, 20 years later, re-sold the idea to the Macy's Parade to re-create the stainless steel rip-off in a giant balloon, bringing the rip off back to it's original inflated (ego) origins...
Brilliant!  Original bunny, as produced in sweat shop = $1.50 retail (at least that's how much I paid for mine)  Estimate for production of balloon?!?
Wow - still in the wrong business...

(I know this is only SLIGHTLY related to World's Largest Things, but still....)

Full store: Hartford Courant

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

ArtLand: USA

Just got the DVD in the mail from London - ArtLand USA, Season two, episode four. They came through in May, filming the Garden of Eden and the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum for their series on art and architecture across the US.

We made a good appearance, with the World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate playing a major role. The episode premeired October 25 on GalleryHD Dish networks... Find out more on their site, ArtLand: USA

Their description: GALLERY HD'S ARTLAND:USA 2 chronicles the intrepid duo of hosts, New Yorker Mame McCutchin and Londoner Toby Amies, as they venture cross-continent in a Jackson Pollock-inspired RV/HDTV production studio to capture not only intriguing visual art of every stripe, but the life-changing experiences that unfold during the "ultimate art road trip."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Greensburg Day at the Sternberg Museum in Hays

The World's Largest Pallasite Meteorite is currently in temporary housing at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, Kansas.  Today was a commemorative event, with a lineup of speakers about the May tornado that destroyed the town, which houses the World's Largest Hand-Dug Well
Debris from the well was on display, which was poignant and sad, with Karen Martin of the Big Well gift shop on-hand to explaing what you see and drum up donations for the building of  a new museum and gift area.
Also, the Kansas Explorer's Club 'LuWonderer" award was passed along to Karen, in recognition of her unflagging enthusiasm and work to rebuild a valuable part of Greensburg history.

Friday, November 16, 2007

World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate Postcards! on sale!  We're putting together an order, in increments of 250 cards.  The more you buy, the more you save!  See online PDF file for card image and price list.
We are delivering postcards around December 3rd, so we need your order ASAP - before Thanksgiving would be GREAT, but probably unrealistic, so deadline Nov. 27th would be in time range.
Let us know soon -
Thank you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From the Email Inbox: World's largest goose

Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:23 PM
Subject: World's largest goose

FYI...the sculptor of the goose is my father, David C. Jackson and he still lives in Kansas City

Oh, great!  I'll add that in to my World's Largest Goose information...  Maxie is one of my favorite MidWestern icons...

Working on the next issue of "Big Idea"

With a July crash of the graphics machine, we're having to piece together the layout of the newsletter - but it's progressing! Also on the Graphic Design front, we're working on Souvenir Travel Plate Postcards and TeeShirts for the new year.

Oh, and the last newsletter is available online on the WLT Press Page - its designed for Tabloid (11" x 17"), so its a big PDF file to download and print. If you were a member, you'd get a hard copy ;)

Any input for the newsletter is appreciated!
-Rachel Wilson

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Speaking Engagement Confirmed - Iowa

Just got the nod from the voting community at the University of Iowa, wanting World's Largest Things for their banquet in April 2008. So, talking to historians in the state that brings you the World's Largest Ball of Popcorn, W.L. Amana Rocking Chair, W.L. Strawberry, W.L. Truck Stop, W.L. Bull, and W.L. Swedish Coffee Cup, in the spring!

-Erika, Director WLT Inc.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Aquisition - W.L. Hockey Stick Segment


Measures 6" X 4". The world's largest hockey stick was given to the city of Eveleth, Minnesota by Christen Brothers. This was placed on Grant Ave. in Eveleth, next to the famous Unusual place. The owner of the Unusual place(Jerry Pfremmer) had a big part in getting it to this town,kept the surrounding ground beautiful ! After the unusual place closed it's doors,the city of Eveleth shunned thier roll on the upkeep..(To cheap to do any maintanence on it, eventually it rotted away)..It was removed & another hockey stick was placed there, but the new stick is NOT regulation..Not made of the same material as a real stick..I believe Canada owns the bragging rights now to the world largest stick located in Canada.Just goes to show you really how CHEAP the city of Eveleth,Minnesota is...........They never deserved this wonderfull gift.. THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO OWN A PAST PIECE OF ICE HOCKEY HISTORY !!!
This would make a great addition to any collection

It arrived today, in great condition.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Member Packets...

Two more memberships in the mail today - one a gift! What a great Christmas idea for that odd relative who is obsessed with roadside culture and World's Largest Things, eh?

It's easy! Just go to Become a Member on the website, click on the PayPal link at the level you desire, and Viola!

Thanks again for your continued support - Big Things A-Comin'!

-Erika, Director, WLT Inc.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

World's Largest Cuckoo Clock on YouTube

Leroy Powell of waga tv5 in Atlanta GA visits the world's Largest Real cuckoo clock. Located at Champ's World of Clocks in Douglasville, GA

Worlds Largest Rubik's Cube on YouTube

Worlds Largest Rubik's Cube From 1982 Worlds Fair

World's Largest Cuckoo Clock on YouTube

An American explores her Swiss roots at the World's Largest Cuckoo clock at the Alpine-Alpa Cheese Factory in Wilmot, Ohio

from ljfeller

Cabazon California Dinosaurs on YouTube

Cabazon Dinosaurs

From the Interstate Highway, the uncommon view of two giant dinosaurs, on an arid plain surrounded by mountains, is an irresistible magnet. But tourists are not the only ones compelled to stop. Well within a convenient day-drive of the Los Angeles sphere, the Cabazon Dinosaurs became media darlings appearing commercials, music videos, film and print ads.

The dinosaurs were built nearly 30 years ago. The apatosaurus took eleven years to build and is arguably the largest dinosaur in America. A small museum in Dinny's belly sells gifts and dinosaur related items.

Over 12,000,000 people each year see the giant dinos from Interstate 10.
Wonderfully done video from Anjelikka

World's Largest Dinosaurs on YouTube

The world's largest dinosaur in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

World's Largest Ball of Popcorn Destroyed! on YouTube

In October 2006, The Popcorn Factory set the wo... (more)
In October 2006, The Popcorn Factory set the world's record for the world's largest popcorn ball in Lake Forest, Illinois, certified by the Guiness Book of World Records.

The question came to mind. What does one do with a 2 ton popcorn ball? The answer was simple, really. Destroy it on video!

In 2007, thanks to help from our friends at ManiaTV.Com, the world's largest popcorn ball was systematically axed, chopped, kicked, baseball batted, hacksawed and chainsawed into oblivion.

Don't despair - there's one in Sac City Iowa, too, that still remains... It's Guinness Certified, too!

World's Largest Pez Dispenser on YouTube

The very first item to be dispensed from The World's Biggest Pez Dispenser, located at The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia in California

World's Largest Motorcycle on YouTube

11 feet high. 20 feet long. And, a $300,000 pricetag. No one believed he could pull it off, but he built it anyway. Alone in his workshop at home, Greg Dunham crafted the world's largest motorcycle. Not only does the giant machine look amazing, it actually drives!

Biggest Stelling Banjo on YouTube

World's Largest Banjo on YouTube

YouTube Nebraska spot - with World's Largest Things!

Sat. Nov. 17th - Greensburg Day at Sternberg Museum, Hays KS

They have a full day of activities planned - full schedule here:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Member Packets in the mail!

One new and one renewal Member Packet just went out with todays mail - thanks for your support!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

W.L. Things in St. John KS

Just got back home from another Kansas Humanities Council lecture at St. John, Kansas. Lovely! 40 or so people, lotsa great information afterwards from the viewers, and snacks to boot.

This has been a great program for the smaller communities, offering an affordable way to bring in speakers, and a great program for World's Largest Things, as it provides an avenue of exploration throughout the state of Kansas, and spreads the word about what's truly unique about the American landscape!

You can (virtually) visit their community here: St. John, Kansas

Great day...
-Erika, Director WLT Inc

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

From the Email Inbox: wooden nickel

Subject: wooden nickel

We paid a visit to the Wooden Nickel Museum in San Antonio yesterdeay (11/6/07) and were disapponted to find it closed for renovations - they didn't say when it would re-open. We got some nice pictures that I thought you might be able to use on your website - I am attaching a front and back view. Please feel free to use, delete or whatever! I started my visits to the World's Largest whatever quite by accident three years ago on our road trip to AZ (taking my parents to AZ for the winter - they wouldn't think of flying and being in their 80's, have no business driving!) I have used you website numerous times to enhance our trips and have gotten some really good pictures as well as some cherished memories from the trips!

-Georgetown, OH

Thanks for the image, and the great website kudos!  I'm glad to be a part of your vacation planning... I try to keep the list of What's Large Where as updated as possible, but there are always those unexpected 'closed for whatever reason' instances... I wonder what, exactly, is IN the Wooden Nickel Museum?!?!

Thanks again for W.L. Wooden Nickel pics, and happy travels!

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Batch of Tees In!

Get 'em while the ink is bright and shiny, and the cotton is crisp! All sized in-stock - Youth Large, Adult Medium, Large, and Extra Large, black ink on grey, $18.95 postage paid.

Order Online! At the World's Largest Things Souvenir Stand


Weekly Whats Large Where for November

Just got a belated batch of WWLW to newspapers for the rest of November - whew! Always have to remind Erika not to get tooooo distracted by the Big Things out there and just WRITE!


Saturday, November 3, 2007

From the Email Inbox: Swedish TV Show

----- Original Message -----
From: Magnus Samuelsson
Subject: Mr Samuelsson mail

My name is Magnus Samuelsson and I work as a researcher for a TV show in Sweden. Filip Hammar and Fredrik Wikingsson are two of Sweden's most beloved TV Hosts. They will go to America from December 2007 to February 2008. Their assignment: Find America's most extraordinary, likeable and offbeat person(and the 99 that were pretty damn close). I would like to show you a link on what person that we are looking for:FridayTV

If you click on the headline of the text you will be able to watch a short presentation of the show. I really appreciate all help I can get. Even if you don't have a full name please don't hesitate to drop me a few lines at: Email address

Have a really nice day!
Magnus Samuelsson, Researcher

Friday, November 2, 2007

From the Email Inbox: Largest Birdfeeder

Original Message ----- From: bill

Last Dec. we were finally notified by Guinness world record that we had the worlds largest bird feeder ( by volume of food held) is something that you might be interested in? We are located in the State of Maine.

Thanks; Bill

Re: This is definately something I would be interested in! The only other monument that I know of that lists itself in the birdfeeder category is a tongue-in-cheek designation of the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD... Do you have a website or images of your birdfeeder? I'd love to add it to my list of What's Large Where...

Thank you for the information!
-Erika, Director Worlds Largest Things Inc.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

World's Largest Cap Gun!

Also in Kansas City, in the West Bottoms area.  WooHoo!  Spotted while scouting out a gallery that may be the Very Last Appearance of the old Mobile Museum as exhibits are moved into the NEW Gerstenslager, 2009. 

Cap Gun located at 1219 Union St.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

TWA Icon Restored

From downtown Kansas City, in the Gallery district... The designers who own the building have re-created an historic part of their building, a rocket sporting the TWA logo.  The original sits in a field outside of Columbia Missouri, but the owner was kind enough to let them measure it to rebuild.

One of the creators of Maxie!

From the weekend events, during the BBQ at the Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City.  This is one of the ladies responsible for building Maxie, the World's Largest Goose, in Sumner Missouri!  She recognized her work depicted on the mural side of Scout.

Four Days On the Road

Heading out for a fun-filled weekend, and upcoming speaking engagements! Keep your eyes peeled:

Sat. October 27th: Scout and Erika will be at the Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City, partaking in a Kansas City BBQ and Art tradition...

Mon. October 29th: Erika talks about Public Art, World's Largest Things, and Outsider Art Environments to University of Kansas students in Lawrence. Look for Scout in Lawrence afterwards!

Tues. October 30th: Life Enrichment Program, Kansas Humanities Council W.L.Things lecture
10:45 a.m., Kansas Room, Butler Community College, El Dorado Kansas

Friday, October 26, 2007

Foul Play Suspected In Destruction Of World's Second-Largest Ball Of Twine

From the Onion, June 6 2001.
(If your not familiar with this journalistic source, I suggest you visit their site:

World's Largest Eagle icon development

Just got a call from a WLThing Board Member, who is working with a community in Minnesota developing a World's Largest Thing as community icon - they're looking into a W.L. Eagle, and we compared notes as to what may already exist...

Here's to another community icon! Go, Cass Lake!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Supplemental Project!

Just took measurement of the support structure of the WL Travel Plate - it's been discussed that the plate needs an appropriate holder, and a local mason has volunteered his services. Should bring the project closer to being a worthy World's largest!

RW, girl with tapemeasure

Upcoming Appearances and Lectures, World's Largest Things, Inc.

Th. October 25th: ArtLand USA, Season Two Episode Four airs, featuring the Garden of Eden and World's Largest Things!Available on the Gallery HD Channel on Dish network, 8 p.m. EST., but check your local listings for confirmation...

Sat. October 27th: Scout and Erika will be at the Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City, partaking in a Kansas City BBQ and Art tradition...

Mon. October 29th: Erika talks about Public Art, World's Largest Things, and Outsider Art Environments to University of Kansas students in Lawrence. Look for Scout in Lawrence afterwards!

Tues. October 30th: Life Enrichment Program, Kansas Humanities Council W.L.Things lecture
10:45 a.m., Kansas Room, Butler Community College, El Dorado Kansas

Th. November 8th: World's Largest Things Lecture. Another lecture scheduled through the Kansas Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau
7:30 PM, Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library, 406 N. Monroe, St. John Kansas

Booking through the Humanities Council makes lectures affordable for smaller communites - Please, if you know of any speaking opportunities, let me know!

This is the perfect time to book WLT Lectures for your end-of-year banquet, Beginning-of-Year brainstorming session, or Winter indoor activities.

-Erika Nelson, Director WLT Inc.

Guide to the World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate

Here's the online guide to the W.L. Souvenir Travel Plate, explained image-by-image in narrative format... Enjoy!
Handy Dandy Guide to the World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Media Relations Workshop

Attended a very informative (albeit short) workshop put on by the National Scenic Byways committee regarding Media Relations.

Major discovery: If you only have 5 seconds for a radio spot, you have to be quick with excellent annunciation to fit in "The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things" and a message... Try it with a stopwatch and see how you do!

Best resource: passed along by our workshop facilitator Peggy Bendel, Development Councellors International, a great book that fits right in line with the mission of World's Largest Things: "Destination Branding for Samll Cities: The Essentials for Successful Place Branding" by Bill Baker.

Thank you, Peggy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Methodists Mens and Womens Fish Fry

Yay! Return visit to the Cawker City and Glen Elder annual fish fry. They put on a great spread, with homemade fish caught in the past 36 hours and deep fried, lots of salad variations, and my favorite, pink cake. Then, while they digested, I gove a slide presentation of recent doin's with World's Largest Things in a Slide Show Extravaganza.

Best of all, a few in the crowd are ringers - the caretaker of the World's Largest Ball of Twine, Linda Clover, was there, as well as a regional artist responsible for creating the Twine Walk in Cawker City - an installation of reproductions of masterworks of art, with a twine ball hidden in each one. Cher Heller Olson is the mastermind behind the Twine Paintings, which serves a dual purpose of getting people to explore downtown Cawker City, as well as giving the population a lesson in Art History, too!

Images of both Linda and some of the Twine Paintings are on the 50th Birthday Party Page from 2003...

Great evening...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Glowing Horses

Yes, the horses do glow...

Downs Art Walk

Had a great time at the Down's Art Walk this evening - lotsa artists set up in local businesses, and an unseasonably warm day at 84 degrees...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kansas Arts Commission - Workshop

Yet another reason to base your business in Kansas...

The Kansas Arts Commission has started a series of workshops to spread information pertinant to the survival of the Arts in Kansas. Today, they held the fourth workshop in different locations across the state focused on Grantwriting, updates to the guidelines, and resources.

Held at the Hays Arts Council, it was a great fast-paced session, with a lot of familiar faces in the audience, including Joan Nothern whose organization will be hosting one of the Ks Humanities Council "World's Largest Things" lectures in January.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Upcoming weekend appearances

Just got off the phone and internet, making sure things are a 'go' for the upcoming weekend events:

Saturday, the Scout Vehicle will be participating in the Downs Art Walk, downtown Downs KS. See what's up in Downs!

Sunday, the Methodist Men's (and this year, women too!) Fish Fry will once again be treated to a slide presentation of World's Largest across the state...

Now, to make sure the projectors are working, notes are notated, and replace a few Astroturf panels damaged by recent weather on the Scout vehicle...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rural Women Leaders

Phone interview today with Eldonna Sylvia from the University of Kansas School of Nursing, who is conducting a study of rural women leaders in
Kansas. They are in the process of interviewing 30-50 women about their leadership
background with an ultimate goal to create a curriculum on leadership
for rural girls. Good conversation, and a reminder that your actions today affect outcomes tomorrow, both in your own business or personal life as well as the lives of others.

Thanks for the inclusion, Eldonna, and thanks for suggesting me as a leader, Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation!

Historic Postcard - giant typewriter

...another in the list of World's Largest produced for a World's Fair - 1939 N.Y.

Gerstenslager Committee Report

Just got exterior schematics from the Gerstenslager Development Committee, so we can start with some design schemes for the NEW Mobile Museum! Projected date for inaugural tour is 2009...

This will be a major upgrade from the Mobile Museum Beta Version, which served us well for the first five years. The Gerstenslager features two full-sized doors for through traffic, on-board generator for heating, cooling, and display power, interior 7 1/2 foot ceilings, upper transem lighting, and the extra added bonus of being designed by the same company responsible for one of the major innovations in Weinermobile design history.

You can help make this happen with a tax-deductable contribution to the World's Largest Things, Inc., Greenbacks for Gerstenslager campaign...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Kansas World's Largest Things...

Info from the last few days about regional World's Largest:

Abeline KS has an entrance arch shaped like a spur (from Randy Mason, Rare Visions R. R. Etc.)

The Library in Liberal KS has an entranceway shaped like a book (from Kansas Traveler Newspaper)

Thanks for the tips! That's how the List of What's Large Where grows!


From the WLT In-Box


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shrines and Homemade Holy Places

The folks from Markham Street Films, Toronto, are here for an intensive 4 days of filming. They produce an eight episode series focusing on Shrines and Homemade Holy Places, like the Garden of Eden. After filming the SP Dinsmoor performance last night, we did a followup interview at the WLT Home Base, at the Mobile Museum, out at the WL Souvenir Travel Plate, through the Garden, and a bit in front of the green screen set up at the Civic Center. Great bunch of guys, looking in-depth at the community that supports and houses the Garden of Eden, and the surrounding creativity that has been drawn in as a result. We'll let you know when the second series is on the air!

Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations

The guys from Rare Visions stopped by this morning for a follow-up to last night's festivities, and for a super special photo opp...

Knowing that I don't make a World's Smallest Version until I've seen the World's Largest Thing for myself, they knew time was ripe for a Meta Photo! I'd first encountered the World's Largest Ball of Video Tape in 2004, and produced a replica within the year. Today, they brought the big ball, and sitting atop would be the World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Ball of Video Tape - Meta Photo Heaven! I made a very high-pitched squeeling noise (to be used as the beginning-of-tape tone) when I realized what was about to happen...

Whoop! You should be able to see the glee in the upcoming season of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations from KCPT Kansas City Public Television...

Friday, October 12, 2007

From the WLT Email In-Box

I love fielding questions regarding World's Largest Things:

Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 3:18 PM
Subject: Regarding the worlds largest Frypan

Hello, My name is A.B. with Robin/Tani Media Factory. Currently I am working on a project about worlds largest for which we may film about the largest frying pan in the world. According to my research the worlds largest fry pan is in Rose Hill, North Carolina, its diameter is 15'.

Have you heard of this frypan? The reason I would like to know is if there is any reason this should be disqualified as the worlds largest fry pan.

Thank you very much for you time. Regards, AB

It looks like you have the winner pegged - the other three I know about are in Delaware, Washington, and a rumored one in Iowa. Delaware is a mere 10',Washington's is "14.6 from end of the handle, 9.6 feet across pan portion". Brandon, Iowa's claims to be 10' also, so you've got 'em all beat! I'll do some more checking, but I don't see anything in your way.

Please, keep me posted on your event!

Dear Erika, Thank you for getting back to me on the worlds largest fry-pan. I am now in contact with the public offices of Rose Hill, North Carolina about this
giant fry-pan.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, I will also keep you updated.

Thank you very much. Regards, AB

Delaware Frying Pan

Washington Frying Pan

SP Dinsmoor, 100th Anniversary of the Garden of Eden

This is it! The 100th Anniversary shin-dig at the Garden of Eden, Lucas Kansas (right next door to the WLT Home Base). There were approx. 80 people, 2 film crews, 11 kids, unknown number of artists, locals and preservationists, beer, tents, tables, music, and brats to be had, tours to give, and a night full of fun celebrating this Visionary Art Environment. Oh, and two newspaper reporters, so we'll keep ya' posted on media results...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

LA Trip Photos in!

Prints from the LA trip arrived today - Aaaah, memories! And, a reminder that I have some more pages to build... Until then, I've posted some on the WLT Flickr page.

Uh, Rachel, time to get snappin!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Prep Work

Been a busy day, getting ready for Friday's festivities. As it turns out, not only will there be a Canadian film crew, but the guys from Rare Visions will be making an appearance, too! Received phone calls from both today, setting up shooting schedule for me as Dinsmoor, and follow-up shots with the W.L. Souvenir Travel Plate, the WLCoWSVoWLT, and World's Largest Things, Inc., home base. Bring 'em on! Lucas is Ready for you!

-Erika, World's Largest Things, Inc.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

WWLW to Members

Members of World's Largest Things got Weekly What's Large Where in their email in-boxes today - always a good recounting of whats going on in the world of World's Largest! Current question is always posted on the World's Largest Things website, HERE, while members get it emailed directly to them at home. Members also have access to the blogged column archives!

Become a Member, Get Neat Stuff.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Weekly What's Large Where feedback

While downtown this morning, I had someone comment on the WWLW column... They enjoy reading it, and am glad to have World's Largest Things, Inc. as a part of the community. Great external validation for the day!


Friday, October 5, 2007

Kansas Humanities Council Speaking Engagement

Solidified another booking today with the Solomon Valley organization, promoting communities along Highway 24. We're scheduled for January 19th, 5:30 or so, in Hill City.

Book a Speaking Engagement with World's Largest Things through the Kansas Humanities Council! Instructions are on their website, and it's a great program to bring speakers to underserved communities.

Also, had a couple of follow-up calls for interviews, one with Markham Street Films and Shrines TV for Saturday, Oct. 13th, following the Dinsmoor 100th anniversary, and another interview for Rural Women Leaders the following Monday (15th).

Salina Journal Encore! feature

In the print version of today's Salina Journal, the 100th anniversary of the Garden of Eden is featured. Erika plays the part of Dinsmoor next week, Oct. 12th, with an evening celebration of this visionary art environment. While not completely connected to World's Largest Things, everything in Lucas feeds off of each other, in a mutually beneficial celebration of the arts in the everday experience.

Come join the fun! More info online on a special Dinsmoor 100th Anniversary page on the WLT site.



Updating MySpace profile, hoping to get the theme song on there but that would have to be added by the performer, Bruce Humphries of the Big One Man Band... SO, opted for an equally appropriate song from the Ditty Bops, "Moon over the Freeway".

Check out the new song profile, and become a World's Largest Things friend!

-Rachel, Webbed Foot Frolicker

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Media Day

Evidently, this was the day to talk to the media...

First, during the morning email slog, I wrote a little blurb for Budget Travel magazine, responding to a Call for Entries from people who have a specialized collection. As the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things is completely unique, it seemed like a perfect fit.

Then, fielded a phone call from one of the producers of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Garden of Eden, and other World's Largest things to see on the way out to Lucas. Travel Plate promo time!

Finally, while in Salina at their First Thursday Art Walk, I talked to the folks from Salina Community Access television about World's Largest Things, as a direct result of driving an Art Car that promotes what we do here at World's Largest Things, Inc.

All in all, lotsa talking about great stuff!


Monday, October 1, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sept. 30 - Mobile Avacado, Raton NM

Promoting Guacamole?  The truck was from Texas, parked outside of a Denny's.

Sept. 30 - Ice Cream Cone, Raton NM

Horrible town, but Great Cone!  Unfortunately, nothing was open at 9:30 p.m., so no cones for us....

Sept. 30th - Tinkertown, Sandia Park NM

Ross Ward's visionary environment of carvings, collections, and bottle architecture.

Carla Ward is still on-site, and has written a children's book featuring TinkerTown. Just an awe-inspiring, amazing place, which makes you realize how valuable every minute of every day is, and there's no reason to waste it on passive activities. See more on their site, Tinkertown dot com

Sept. 30th - Chevy on a Stick, Albuquerque NM


Friday, September 28, 2007

Sept. 28th - Wigwam Village #6, Hollbrook AZ

Sleep in a Wigwam!  They left the lights on for us...

Their site: Wigwam Motel

Sept. 28th - Hi Jolly Monument, Quartzite AZ

From WWI, an Arab camel master, commemorated at the Quartzite cemetery

Sept. 28th - Dinosaurs, Cabazon CA


GREAT dinosaurs, unfortunately now run by creationists, who have attached signs to the original structure promoting their revision of the fossil record. Luckily, they haven't harmed the structures, the literature is badly produced, and their exterior signage is so ridiculously executed its easy to ignore. This, too, will pass, and Claude Bell's dinosaurs can revert back to his original intention and vision.

Until then, buy your souvenirs from the adjacent Wheel In Cafe - a great authentic roadside stop, with home-made cobblers and waitresses in leopard print blouses.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sept. 27th - Scary Clown, Venice CA


Sept. 27th - W.L. Binoculars, Venice CA


Sept. 27th - Randy's Donuts, Inglewood CA


And, in addition to T-Shirts and travel mugs, the owner picked out one of the 'real' donuts that most resembled the big donut, which is now in the permanent collection of World's Largest Things, Inc., as a commemorative donut.


Short phone interview with Gary Demuth of the Salina Journal - we chat about art at least twice a year for newspaper articles. This time it was for the 100th anniversry celebration of the Garden of Eden, October 12th. The article should come out on a friday in the Encore! section of the Salina (Kansas) Journal...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sept. 26th - Bear House, Anaheim CA


Sept. 26th - Donut Hole, La Puente CA

I Heart World's Largest Things!

We had breakfast at the Donut Hole in LaPuente California today - not only great mimetic architecture (that you can drive through...) but good donuts, too! Not too sweet, nice and puffy texture, and from a Giant Donut.

While I may not be able to blog consistantly, I'm adding photos to the Flickr page while on the road... Check 'em out!

-Erika, Director, Drivin' around lookin' at Big Things in LA...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sept. 23rd - W.L. Van Gogh, Goodland KS


Kansas to L.A. World's Largest Things Whirlwind Tour!

Starting today!

Now that business is wrapped up for September, I can break out the map of circles. Possible stops on the way:

W.L. Easel, Goodland KS
W.L. Prairie Dog, Oakley KS
W.L. Flashlight, UNLV Las Vegas NV
W.L. Thermometer, Baker CA
Wigwam Village, San Bernardino CA
W.L. Cup, Riverside CA
W.L. Sack of Cement, Riverside CA
Shutter Shack, Westminster CA
Cadillac Building, Tarzana CA
The Tamale, E.LA CA
The Chili Bowl, LA CA
Watts Towers, LA CA
Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City CA
Chili Bowl, W. LA CA
Randy's Donuts, Inglewood CA
Donut Hole, LaPuente CA
Cabazon Dinosaurs, Cabazon CA
Cadillac Building, Long Beach CA
W.L. Binoculars, Venice CA
Burger that Ate LA, LA CA
Hi Jolly Monument, Quartsite AZ
W.L. Kachina, Carefree AZ
W.L. Sundial, Carefree AZ
TeePee Trading Post, Lupton AZ
Tinkertown, Sandia Park NM
W.L. Hercles Beetle, May Museum, Co. Springs CO
W.L. Rocking Chair, Penrose CO
Wonder Tower, Genoa CO

Whoop! I'll try to update as I travel, but it all depends on WiFi...

Weekly Whats Large Where for October, past week..

Just got the fresh batch of WWLW columns off to small run newspapers for the month of October. And, this past week's Weekly What's Large Where is posted on the site and the sister blog.

World's Largest Things members are invited to read the blog version, which gives access to the archives since we've bee blogging. Join up to see what's been going on!


Friday, September 21, 2007

WLT Press Page Update - NEW NEW NEW!

New Press Pages Online Now!
To see the fun, retro rollovers, go to:
For those of you on dial-up, let the whole thing load for interactive frivolity...
-Rachel W., Press Ed. into Service

Garden of Eden 100th Anniversary

Loosly applicable to World's Largest Things, as it's right next door...  And, ALL of the Lucas Attractions are integrally related.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Markham Street Films - Shrines and Homemade Holy Places

The Wonders of Mobile Communication - while at a rest stop in the middle of Kansas, finalized initial interviews and later filming schedule for a Canadian crew. From the email:

As per my voice mail, I am doing research for a documentary series call "Shrines and Homemade Holy Places". This series focuses on visionary environments. Please visit Shrines dot tv for more information.

R.S. suggested I call you. I was wondering if you would have a few minutes to talk to me about the Garden of Eden and the performance piece/tour you will be doing on October 12 around the Kansas Artist Craftsmen Association Conference.

Thank you in advance for your time.
for Markham Street Films
720 Bathurst St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2R4

They're coming through on a scouting visit Saturday Sept. 22nd to view the Garden and other sites, with a return visit and crew for the actual production Oct. 11th and 12th.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Voice of America - Cultural Odyssey

In the midst of Kansas Arts Commission application prep, the town of Lucas had a wonderful visit from a producer/director of pieces for Voice of America, the US Government's multimedia broadcasting service in ver 44 languages.

Joseph was in town interviewing people about M.T. Liggett, an Outsider Artist in Mullinville KS with a political bent to his public art expressions. While in town, though, he thoroughly covered the other attractions here, to be used in an upcoming Cultural Odyssey program. Lots of video taken, to be editied down to a snapshot of the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas, Lucas...

You may see the Scout Vehicle, or the World's Largest Souvenir Travel Plate if you catch a broadcast later this winter...

From the VOA Website:
Where can you go to find seven hours of TV and 98 hours of radio per week, daily comprehensive and objective news by e-mail, and a dynamic web page with text as well as audio and video – all in Chinese? VOA, of course!

With so much programming in both Mandarin and Cantonese, everyone can find a favorite program or feature. On television, for example, Issues & Opinions presents discussions Monday through Thursday on the current events everyone is talking about, and invites your participation. Cultural Odyssey provides a weekly look at arts and entertainment, and American Report gives a snapshot of the U.S. each week in Cantonese as well as in Mandarin. Local broadcasters such as ATV in Hong Kong, and TVBS and ETTV in Taiwan carry VOA television programs. All shows are also available direct from satellite.

From the last Mobile Museum appearance...

This is a drawing of part of the Mobile Museum, which was collected as part of the Collier Collection of Very Small Objects at the Sabatini Gallery. This is the official entry into the permanent collection, gathered and documented by Heather Kearns.

From July 28-29, 2007.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Where oh where has my CV gone?

Part of getting the word out there about World's Largest Things has been partnering with the institutions in KS who still support projects with individual scholars. I've been working on the application to be a part of the Kansas Arts Commission Arts on Tour roster, and realized that my CV (curriculum vitae, for non-jargon people out there - an extensive list of everything you've done that may, even remotely, relate to your professional accomplishments...) hasn't been updated in a while... AND, in a July computer crash, all the edit-able versions were lost! So, it's been a dense set of days reconstructing the over-long document, as well as gathering support material for the application.

Whew! And, Tuesday Evenings at the Lincoln Art Center are open studio nights - even though the WLT Home Base is in rural Kansas, with most cultural opportunities 1-3 hours away, a neighboring town has an amazing facility, bringing Art to an underserved community. AND, they open their doors to host people wanting to get together and create, building a stronger regional arts community. I took a couple hours off of the business end of things to go and participate, working on a piece for an upcoming Masks and Minis show... More World's Smallest Versions!

Upcoming Speaking Engagement

Yet another booking for the World's Largest Things program from the Kansas Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, scheduled for the Community Arts program at the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library, 406 N. Monroe, St. John, KS , Thursday, Nov. 8. Dinner with the Lions Club at 6:30 and program at the library at 7:30 pm.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Paris - La Grande Valise

One of the things we WON'T see in LA...

From Roadside America:
West Hollywood, California - Tail O' the Pup
It's now gone. There is just a roped off parking lot and the boarded-up back of the restaurant. The hot-dog facade is hopefully in storage. The last thing I heard is that there's a chance the stand will resurface in Westwood, about 5 miles away (a big move from San Vicente, to where it was moved in the 80's when it's site at LaCienega and Beverly was usurped by the entirely forgettable Hotel Sofitel..).

I hope to see it come back. I had the best celeb sighting ever in all my years living in LA here: Ella Fitzgerald, in a Chanel suit, delicately munching a hot dog while her Mercedes laundaulet purred at the curb, awaiting it's mistress.... [T, 03/15/2006]

[RA: December 2006 - Tail O' the Pup was forced to close at its San Vicente Blvd location in West Hollywood in early 2006. The owner of the property refused to renew the stand's lease and plans to develop the site as condominiums and a retirement community for gays and lesbians. Tail O' the Pup has survived relocation before, and there is hope that it may reopen in Westwood Village, on a parking lot at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn Aves.]