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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another (threatened) roadside attraction

In our youthful road trips across the country all those years ago, we stopped a couple of times in Mitchell, S.D. to get off the road and score a decent meal. Here's a story about that place, and its famous Corn Palace, which we never took the time to see; instead, we blew an hour at Wall Drug Store. Anyway, as the story points out, the scene on the highway is changing, and places like the Corn Palace may not be long for this world.

Comments (7)

For those of you from back East I note that when we passed by “South of the Border” on our late summer trip to Myrtle Beach weeds were growing in outer parking lot cracks – not a good sign for this iconic tourist trap. One of the nice features of roadside attractions is seasonal employment opportunity for high school and college age young men and women, yielding much appreciated cash and a dose of real world working experience. “South of the Border” once employed none other than Ben Bernanke the two-term Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors where he learned, no doubt, the role that continuous signage plays in bringing together supply and demand.

Wall Drug is not in Mitchell....

Did anybody say it was? I didn't.

I grew up in SD about 100 miles from Mitchell.

I can't fully describe how disappointed I was to visit the much-anticipated Palace and discover it NOT made of corn. Rather, it is a second rate gymnasium with corn and seeds glued to the outsides. Even the domes were fake. And it was on a rather sad Main St...Who ever heard of a PALACE on a Main St..next to Penneys, for gawd's sakes.

Thus, my first Corn Palace visit was one of those seminal let-downs that occurs when you realize that adults can't be trusted ...just one more case of "Santa Claus is a fake" A Coming of Age Moment: Realizing that adults lie!

From an adult POV, it is something nostalgic, CORNY and midwest-whimsy.

I was going to mention South of the Border but someone else beat me to it. SOTB used to be owned by my stepmother's family. My stepmother went to elementary school with Ben Bernanke.

There’s road trips and then there’s road tripping like this one from the era known by its main roadside distractions-sex and drugs with the Season of the Witch playing eerily in the background.

I visited there once in 1980's. I thought it was built with corns. haha. Just corns glued on the building walls, just like murals. I did not think I spent a penny there.

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