Friday, October 31, 2008

Kansas Musuem Association Conference

... Manhattan Kansas - debuts the Post Rock Scenic Byway Digital Documentary, through the Kansas Humanities Council.

We haven't seen it either. Off early with fellow Lucasites, promoting the area!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Small Town USA Movie

... stopped by this morning to talk about Lucas, Grassroots Art identity, the plight of rural America, and where it all ties together. I don't think they realized just how much Lucas had to offer in this field, with our amazing array of doers that work to make this a thriving rural community in the middle of an out-migration area, so they'll just have to come back and talk some more!

Small Town USA Movie

Email Submission to Good Ink

Reason # 128 to look at online newsletters - sometimes, there's a marketing giveaway! Here's the entry we just sent to Good Ink, pleading our case for a marketing package focused on potential corporate and foundation sponsors for the development of the new World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum:

WLT Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, established to research, collect, and disseminate information relating to the history, preservation, production, and promotion of Roadside Vernacular Architecture known as World's Largest Things.

We collect stories of rural communities who have chosen to erect a World's Largest Thing, which often serves as a key to understanding community identity. We collect these stories through photo-documentation of the sites and primary and secondary research, and share the stories and images with the rest of the world through articles, lectures, community programs, home website and associated online blog and image archives. These community icons and their stories are used in an effort to promote economic development in the represented communities through tourism, community-building, aid in marketing or branding of their community, and renewed interest in rural life.

One of our major educational outreach tools is a Mobile Museum which houses photographs and stories of these rural communities as illustrated through their World's Largest Thing. The museum also holds the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, which features miniature replicas of World's Largest Things, used as a catalyst for sharing these unique community profiles. The interactive nature of the museum speaks to all ages, and creates an atmosphere conducive to learning in a unique, approachable way. We liken the WLCoWSVoWLT Mobile Museum to a cross between the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and a Bookmobile.

We recently retired the old Mobile Museum, and are embarking on the development of a new, expanded mobile educational unit. As the collection has grown, we outgrew the original grassroots version. We need help in developing a fundraising campaign package, for use in presentations to potential corporate and foundation sponsors.

The nuts-and-bolts operations of World's Largest Things has been supported mainly by volunteer hours (we have no paid staff), with memberships covering costs for membership letters, website maintenance, and grants funding specific projects. We simply do not have the capacity to develop a professional campaign with our current volunteer personnel, and cannot expand our capacity without sponsorship of the current project.

We are looking for an information packet that will explain the concept of the museum, showcase the plans for new Mobile Museum development, and make the case for sponsorship of the project. The 'hook' is there with the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, while the importance of the project to sustaining rural culture through the sharing of the stories is harder to convey. We need help in presenting this fun concept in a serious way to people who have the resources to fund the development.

We feel that our project examines an important port of our national identity, which is rapidly disappearing. The preservation of these icons doesn't quite fit into the established preservation programs, even though the communities that create and care for them know the importance of their World's Largest Things. Through the increased awareness of these unique monuments and the stories behind them, we act as a catalyst for economic development and rural renewal, as well as documenting a marginalized section of roadside culture.

Thank you for your consideration, and please, don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc., home of the World's Largest Colleciton of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kansas Sampler Foundation 8 Wonders of Kansas Art

It's official!  Lucas Kansas is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art, as determined by public vote.  See the Kansas Sampler Foundation's description of Lucas at their website:
and a description of the 8 Wonders of Art project:
Kudos, Lucas! There's an additional story in the Hays Daily News

Monday, October 20, 2008

New WLT Tee Off to NY Member

It's in the mail to Member #2! One of the exclusive, new, dripping with sarcasm tees that Only Members got first dibs on... All you others on the mailing list will find out in Vol. 2 # 2 of the Big Idea newsletter, scheduled for mid-November.

Arts Infrastructure Work

... started looking at the QuickBooks Simple Start, and ordered the NonProfit premeir version. Sometimes, it pays to leave things 'till the last minute, as we happened upon a $100 off sale, and got to use an additional $30 coupon donated by a WLT Board Member... Yay!

Great Mail Day Item #3: PBS Lincoln Highway Sneak Preview

That's the advantage of having historians and authors on your Board of Directors - Advisory Board Member Brian Butko, author and co-author of many books, sent along a sneak preview of the upcoming documentary about the Lincoln Highway.  Premiers on PBS October 29th - check your local listings!
Our book recommendations, with one of Brian's on the top right column:

Great Mail Day Item #2 - Canada Big Things Book

From a contact from the September SCA Conference - a book about Canada's Roadside Attractions!
Thanks, New Canadian Friend!

Great Mail Day Item #1 - mini member cards!

It was a great snail mail today for WLTs - Item #1, a new batch of World's Smallest membership Cards from Moo!  Here are the new designs that will go out this year to new and renewing members of WLT, Inc.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OK - backtracking to Friday...

... It WAS a busy day! Wrote a script for a Digital Documentary for the Post Rock Scenic Byway - only slightly related to WLT, but is because a WLT project is prominantly featured on the PRSB Info Kiosk... W.L. Souvenir Travel Plate is a centerpiece in the Lucas section...

Sent images to be included in a PowerPoint for the Kansas Tourism Conference, pput on by TIAK (which stands for ???) with the Kansas Travel and Tourism Division of the Department of Commerce, next Tuesday, illustrating WLT Projects in Lucas and the area...

Packing up for a KHC WLT talk about Roadside Attractions and the like, happening in Small Towns Thinking Big, in Partridge KS on Saturday

AND, backyard visitors in the morning. I think we're good to go!


... too busy to blog - will update later....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

WLT Drive-By Spotting: Camel, Cairo NE

Also on the way to the wedding ...
Note:  the townspeople pronounce the town name "Kay Ro", kinda' like the syrup.

WLT Drive-By Spotting

Ice Cream, Wood River NE - spotted on the way to an outdoor wedding...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Roanoke VA Star

Postcard for sale on Ebay!

Re: Robert Wadlow

According to the Guinness record listing (GWR, 2002) Robert Wadlow weighed 491 on his 21st birthday, but dropped to 438 when he died in 1940. (B. 1918)
Thanks for asking!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 4:05 PM
Subject: Robert Wadlow

Do you know if Robert Wadlow at 490 pounds was the correct weight for his height?

Win £3000 to spend on whatever you want at Uni! Click here to WIN!

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 270.8.0/1720 - Release Date: 10/11/2008 3:59 PM

Thursday, October 9, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Wade City FL Muffler Man

From member brother Dave Kilby...
And, check out the Member website - creatives love WLTs!

From the Snail Mail Inbox: W.L. Cuckoo Clock, Wiesbaden Germany

From the back:
Overall height to tip of antlers 5.25m - Height of flanking figures 2.6m - Diameter of dial, show face 2m
Cuckoo call, music and dnace every half hour

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Members Only Updates

... out in today's mail also...

Featuring the NEWEST WLT Tee Design! Only four have gone out so far, as we wanted Members to have the first crack at 'em... You'll see in the mail, Dear Members!

Member Packet off to Minnesota!

Member number 109 is a Minneapolis MN fan, and is the latest to step up to the World's Largest Plate of Bigness. If we hadn't mentioned it, Member #108 went out to Florida, showing the broad geographical reach of Roadside Americana.

Thank you again for your support!

North Dakota map of Big Things

This is how to do it!  North Dakota has a great site of their tourism icons, with a map showing exactly where the Big Things are - kudos!

Monday, October 6, 2008

From the Email Inbox: World's Largest Laddarback Chair, Pequot Lakes MN

Just under the Pequot Lakes Fishing Bobber Water Tower...Built by Nature's Concepts for tourist photo opportunities, billed as Paul Bunyan's chair.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

World's Largest hand carved Tiger Muskie working ice fishing decoy by JAG

From Flickr:
This monster of a muskie fishing decoy measures over 7 feet long and is entirely hand carved from a cedar beam from an old fireplace mantle. While it would have been a great deal easier to use power tools, my doggedness determination wanted to see if I could do it my hand.

I started working on it late Saturday afternoon and finished today on Wednesday, 52 plus hours total labor. I had some slip-ups and blunders but in the end, I'm quite satisfied with the end results.

I diligently searched the internet for hand carved tiger muskie fishing decoys and could not find one larger than this, so I'll lay claim to it. 
See the photo stream and comments here: