Remember the Burma Shave ads which once lined the bygone US highways? The signs with such catchy poetry as…
It has a tingle
And a tang
The day off
With a bang.
Apparently the Champaign County Rifle Association is all in favor of starting the day off with a bang. While in Illinois last week, I spotted the CCRA’s “public awareness” campaign, Guns Save Life, which gives a nod to Burma Shave’s gimmick. This…
And I’m on hold
Sure wish I had
That gun I sold
…just doesn’t evoke the same sense of warm fuzzy nostalgia. Regardless of the morass that is gun control, these rhymes were downright creepy. I spotted four separate series of these signs along the interstate highways of central Illinois.
More uplifting was another Burma Shavesque ad campaign from the Illinois Soybean Association which touted the virtues of biodiesel fuel. Not surprisingly, biodiesel fuels based on soybean oil and ethanol derived from corn are being hyped bigtime in Illinois. I recall a spurt of interest in alternative fuels in the Prairie State back in the late 1970′s but after a brief moment in the limelight, the notion of corn as a major fuel source slipped back into the shadows. The interest seems a bit more serious now, and Governor Blagojevich recently pushed incentives for renewable sources of energy.
Another testament to Illinois’ recent efforts in alternative energy sources are the wind farms which dot the state. A most impressive one, the Mendota Hills Wind Farm may be seen along I-39 near Paw Paw. I took a few photos but Jennifer Zimmerman’s gallery far surpasses my photographic efforts. My late father, who avidly listened to my older brother’s descriptions of germanium doped solar energy cells (big bro works in the solid state physics arena), contemplated harnassing wind energy beyond the scope of the old fashioned windmill which pumped water. He would be impressed by the graceful turbines of the Mendota wind farm. And unlike the controversy whirling around the proposed Cape Wind Farm which ostensibly will be located in Nantucket Sound, none of the simple farm folk from this part of flyover country complained about their views being sullied by the turbines.
These sights along the Illinois interstates provided quite the contrast. At one moment, I’m Burmaing off a reactionary “Ah need mah AK47 fer PROTECTION!” series of signs, and the next, I see evidence of a decidedly green movement toward renewable energy sources. Yep, that’s the Sucker State for you.