Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On small towns

I've had the distinct pleasure… err… opportunity… umm… happenchance to visit many small towns in this province that I reside in. It's not what I call home, as that still rests in British Columbia.

So I've seen tiny towns (pop 58), small towns (2,000), bigger towns (4,000). And what always surprises me is the need for people to erect some statuary, some marker, some thing to mark their town in the minds of visitors.

Take Vegreville for my first example:
There is a large Ukrainian community in and around the town. Painted eggs, or Pysankas, are a cultural marker. So they built one huge egg for the travelling public.

Then we have the town of Dawson Creek. They proudly sit in the Peace Region of B.C., anchoring the manic construct of the U.S. Army during World War 2 - the Alaska Highway. So in the centre of town - and not actually ON the highway anymore - there is the Mile Zero marker. I've known people who grew up in this town. They tell me it's always a laugh to see the many people taking "the trip" from somewhere in the continental US up to the "promised land" of Alaska and stopping to take photos of themselves on this marker.

I always wondered - did these people actually notice the scenery through Canada in their headlong rush to the former property of the Tsars?

And lastly for today, I have this beauty of a marker. What relation does a huge squirrel, tucked away in the town park, have to the town of Edson?!?!? I'm told it was on the town seal.

A. Squirrel.

I'm chalking this up to yet another one of those things that I just don't understand.

Tell me about some of the weird, odd, large, or peculiar markers / monuments that you've seen in your travels - or that live in your town.


Tanya said...

Are you from Dawson? I'm from Fort St. John.

As for monuments there is always the spaceship out in Vulcan. And as for the giant squirrel... there was a giant one in the campground at Charlie Lake that we used to climb all over as kids.

Martha said...

Hi, Mr.Spit, sent over by your lovely wife and fellow chocoholic and gardening maven.
My favorite funny sign was in Jamaica for the "Sleeping Policeman" aka "Speed Bumps" here in the lower 48. Take care, best to you both.